Josh Pugh @ Pleasance Courtyard

A well-honed comic but one who seems born to be mild

Review by Stu Black | 14 Aug 2017
  • Josh Pugh

Hotly-tipped young comedian Josh Pugh has a refreshingly modest stage persona (the official description of his debut Fringe show is a “very tame roller coaster ride”). There’s little ego on show, which is something to warm to in theory, but it does occasionally make him feel slightly distant. Apart from learning that he has an eye condition and (possibly) lives in his parents’ loft, Pugh's personality remains fairly hidden and things don’t get much deeper than the somewhat gnomic title of the show.

His set is a rapid-fire grab-bag of every kind of joke – from word-wise one-liners to surreal mini-anecdotes that largely dodge taboos and tough areas. It’s all fairly funny and fluent but the truth is that since we’re used to being allowed under the average stand-up’s skin (and often painfully so), Pugh treads a fine line; he's a nice bloke but not one that makes an impact. Though this plain style might be no hindrance to attracting TV, it is also a shame – his routines have a great deal of range and suggest originality that he doesn't exploit.

Josh Pugh: A Boy Named Pugh, Pleasance Courtyard (Bunker One), until 28 Aug (not 15), 7.15pm, £7-10