Liam Withnail @ Monkey Barrel

Local favourite Liam Withnail offers an hour of high-energy stand-up that leaves its audience gasping for breath

Review by Charlotte Chapman | 30 Aug 2023
  • Liam Withnail

Tiktok & Instagram sensation Liam Withnail is no stranger to the Fringe; as an Edinburgh local he has performed on the circuit countless times. However, last year, Withnail was diagnosed with a form of inflammatory bowel disease; a devastating illness that has impacted every aspect of his life. Despite being a harrowing and deeply personal experience, Withnail delivers every detail to his audience, finding the humour in his journey and quickly winning over viewers who are astounded by his courage and charm.

Withnail is a high-energy comedian. With a slightly crazed glimmer in his eye, he delivers a wildly entertaining show that would be demanding of any comedian, let alone one with so many emotional beats to his routine. From the moment he arrives, he radiates warmth, and totally holds the audience's attention for every second of his set – the viewer gets the impression that he would perform with just as much joy and hilarity to three people as he would three hundred. This man is impossible to dislike, and clearly born to be a comic. Several hilarious highlights include voicing the inner thoughts of his bowels in a rough and ready Eastenders-style accent, and detailing the experience of relieving himself in a cardboard commode, which he then uses to collect donations after the show.

Aside from the magic of Withnail's timing and the clean flow of a meticulously structured hour, he also leaves audiences with a genuinely heartfelt message on behalf of all chronically ill people, and those with invisible disabilities for whom everyday tasks are ten times harder. Despite what has clearly been an agonising and exasperating process for Liam Withnail, he has overcome all obstacles to provide one of the finest hours of comedy the Fringe has to offer, and left not a dry eye in sight at the end of it.

Liam Withnail: Chronic Boom, Monkey Barrel (MB2), run ended