Nathaniel Metcalfe @ Laughing Horse, The Counting House

The nicest man on the Fringe is back with a tale of heartbreak and Heroes (the Bowie variety)

Review by Polly Glynn | 06 Aug 2018
  • Nathaniel Netcalfe

On the last day of the 2014 Fringe, Nathaniel Metcalfe was dumped. Was it the fault of a puppet version of Alan Davies or something else entirely? We’ll never know. 

Directed by James Acaster, the show follows the ups and downs of Metcalfe’s love recovery while falling back in love with performing. It’s structured in such a way that he personifies the chameleon, comedian and caricature of the show’s Bowie-penned title (less so the Corinthian element) with a little help from Brian Eno’s ‘Oblique Strategies’ cards, a talented cartoonist and Jeremy Irons (of course).

Despite hurling pop culture references at the audience when they’re least expected, these are delicately crafted fragments which create a window into the mind of this delightful performer. His sitcom theme tunes in the style of Bob Dylan are an inspired highlight. However, the show does meander a little when Metcalfe recounts past loves around the two-thirds mark.

Altogether, Metcalfe creates a unique hour from an oft-trodden topic. It’s clever, thoughtful and charming but at times feels ill-paced and could feel distant if the references are unfamiliar.

Nathanial Metcalfe: Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian & Caricature, Laughing Horse, The Counting House (The Lounge), 2-26 Aug (not 14), 1.10pm, Free

Scroll on to read more of The Skinny's 2018 Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews; click here for a round-up of all the best reviews from this year's comedy and theatre programmes