Tom Parry @ Pleasance Courtyard

Parryoke! is another hour of unbridled joy from yellow T-shirt wearer Tom Parry

Review by Polly Glynn | 12 Aug 2019
  • Tom Parry

Loosely held together through the themes of weddings, speeches and karaoke, Parryoke! is a sweet-natured hour of enjoyable stand-up. Nothing beats Parry’s joie de vivre as he recounts tales of Swedish weddings, disappointing Christmas presents and the unforgettable musk of Lynx Africa. There’s even a baffling and (fingers crossed) true story about Eastenders actor Shane Ritchie that you won’t forget in a hurry. 

Each section is broken up with a burst of karaoke, all being impossibly difficult to sing of course, and the real climax featuring Parry’s chosen track is a giggle-inducing triumph. However, Parryoke!’s emotional peak does seems a little ham-fisted, and falls victim to the ‘meaningful Fringe show’ conceit. If anything, the anecdote about his niblings’ first trip to the footy does more for the soul and seems like a better emotional anchor to cling to.

Despite this, it’d be difficult to leave the show grinless. Parry’s larger-than-life character fills the room with cheer and his energy and enthusiasm are infectious; surely he should be top of the casting list as the Ghost of Christmas Present in the nearest production of A Christmas Carol.

Sure, the show’s structure is a bit loose and it gets off to a slow start, but there’s never an inkling that Parry doesn’t want to be at the Fringe, in a sweaty room, entertaining strangers. If anything, it’d be better if Edinburgh could keep Parry all year round.

Tom Parry: Parryoke!Pleasance Courtyard (Beside), until 26 Aug (not 13), 6pm, £8.50-12.50