Patrick Spicer @ Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

Patrick Spicer wants to be seen as cool, cheeky, brave and strong – in his Edinburgh Fringe debut, he pretty much pulls it off

Review by Anita Bhadani | 12 Aug 2022
  • Patrick Spicer

“Do you have a personal brand?”, Patrick Spicer asks an audience member before revealing his own tongue-in-cheek branding with not a flicker of hesitation: “Cool, cheeky, brave, strong”. Throughout his hour-long Fringe debut, Spicer radiates a lively energy that puts you at ease, even as he professes about all the times throughout his life he has been anything but.

He recounts these loosely chronologically – from dealing with a teenager who had it out for him (Spicer opts to ‘snitch’), to his attempts to be ‘one of the boys’ (or are they lads, he philosophises) in a way that needs to be heard to be believed, to the universal classics: sexual hang-ups and the fear of death.

Each story gives us insight into the way Spicer's anxious temperament has manifested, culminating in a gloriously weird final anecdote which finds Spicer surrounded by doctors in a clinic in his quest to once and for all find out: “What’s wrong with me?”.

Spicer is an engaging and natural storyteller – his stories weave into one another with ease, and he knows just how long to pull at one thread before moving to the next. Even on the rare occasions where Spicer’s material treads ‘dime a dozen’ grounds – such as jokes about Gen Z – his unexpected plot twists and delivery make it an enjoyable listen nonetheless.

Spicer’s personal brand gag is a way to draw humour from the space between who he ‘really’ is and the image he wants to project. It's perhaps ironic, then, that this genuinely is a very cool, brave, strong – and really quite cheeky – set from the emerging talent.

Patrick Spicer: Who's This All of a Sudden?, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose (Coorie), until 28 Aug (not 16), 6.20pm, £9.50-11