Stephen Carlin Blows The Lid Off The Whole Filthy Business
Stephen Carlin's Big Thing is that he is apparently one of Stewart Lee's all-time top ten stand-up comedians, a fact that brings with it the surprising implication that Stewart Lee actually likes something. So: all eyes on Carlin this festival.
In Stand 4's miniscule underground room, this relatively green performer has the ease and poise of a comedian with another seven Fringes under his belt. His set is infinitely polished; every punchline is delivered with impeccable timing and pitch. It's rare you find a comedian at Carlin's level who exudes such an air of knowing what he's doing.
He's got a solid set, with some great jokes. He is clearly capable of working his way to the top, but needs to aim for a little bit more. He needs a few stone-cold classics; jokes that you tell your friends about for weeks afterward, material that marches into territory untrod and claims it Carlin’s own. I think he can do it, and when he does, he'll really be unstoppable. Check him out this year, by all means, but for God's sake, don't miss him next year.