Gary: Tank Commander
Greg McHugh has surely fashioned a comedy creation of fabulous proportions in a show that's destined to become one of this year's most popular Fringe acts
Gary, a former tank commander in Iraq, tells tales. From stories of his time spent in the army to anecdotes from his boyhood in Glasgow – both of which appear to have been fairly similar experiences – his routine is a bit like listening to a particularly talkative Glaswegian taxi driver: he just doesn't stop.
Thankfully, neither do the punch lines. In the Gilded Balloon's hot and stuffy Balcony venue, Gary enthuses about how his mate's dad once beat up Tony Blair, wonders whether Gordon Brown is actually a pirate and fondly recalls his local scout leader, Squinty-Eyed Bob the paedophile. Before long, the audience are rolling in guilty, helpless laughter that doesn't stop until the curtain falls an hour later.
Through Gary, Greg McHugh has surely fashioned a comedic creation of fabulous proportions in a show that's destined to become one of this year's most popular Fringe acts. Previously seen on Channel 4's Funny Cuts, Gary is likeable but not endearing, cruel but not crazy. He treads a middle ground between caricature and condescension, without ever descending into the chav-maligning tendencies of the likes of Matt Lucas or Catherine Tate. And while his routine may be dependent on his immaculately camp Glaswegian accent and an overuse of words like "ken" and "radge", no amount of reservation or snobbery could possibly hold back the exhilarated laughter that Gary's ridiculous exploits provoke.
Consequently, McHugh is certain to be one of the most valuable commodities on the Edinburgh festival circuit: an original, home-grown comedian whose imaginative wit is often nothing short of pure brilliance.