Zach Zimmerman @ Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

A witty Edinburgh Fringe debut from Zach Zimmerman that brings home some strong personal truths

Review by Thomas Hamill | 15 Aug 2019
  • Zach Zimmerman @ Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

With the stage already set with a picture of his mum, and the show starting with a recording of a phone call between the two, Zimmerman zips through some charming and sharp-witted material that brings us up to speed on his family history. Quickly, we get a sense of the contrast of cultures between Zimmerman’s conservative religious parents and upbringing, and the liberated gay man he’s grown to be. He covers ground deftly, giving us some well selected anecdotes that bring us into his life.

Zimmerman has a real skill for seeing the overall picture, providing information in an interesting way that builds up exceptionally well to the more poignant end of the show. It’s well delivered, tying in threads on individuality, religion and America through a very honest, autobiographical narrative.

His style is very conversational and has a great sass about it that allows him to drop in wonderful turns of phrase. However, his pace becomes frustrating as you start to wonder if Zimmerman will ever stop to catch breath. Whilst his wittiness is a clear strength, the repetition in his tone begins to wear down the effectiveness of his lampoonings in the show’s latter half. It works great for the opening material, but the audience could engage more if Zimmerman took his foot off the gas and diversified his approach. 

This is a strong debut, with clear signs of Zimmerman's ability to negotiate an hour on stage, not just bringing in the laughs but leaving plenty of thoughts rattling around afterwards.

Zach Zimmerman: Clean ComedyGilded Balloon Patter Hoose (Dram), until 26 Aug (not 19), 10.45pm, £8.50-10.50