99 Club Stand-up Selection - Cowgate - Free

Luke Benson hosts 99 Club's pick of the Fringe with a free hour of comedy that shows off the talents (and faults) at this year’s festival. A show that throws together the good and the bad, the Laughing Horse’s selection is worth a watch. For a comedian, Benson’s humour is littered with puns that are tiresome and clichéd, but as a host he is quite a people’s man and exhibits great control over the audience.

Mark Bright is Shrek if he did stand up. Blunt, honest and unafraid to speak his mind, Bright ended the night on a high note.

First up was Kwame Asante, who goes straight to the anecdotes about growing up in Kent as a black man. Slow but steady, Asante is quite a crowd pleaser and had some funny experiences to share which included the problems of babysitting. The link to his topics could be better, and he tends to tell a lot about himself, but the jokes got there in the end.

Striding onto the stage in an orange jumpsuit, Japanese Hiroshi Shimizu entertained the audience with jokes about being foreign. As the source of his comedy is cultural differences, the ‘Japanese man in Scotland’ visage wears off pretty quickly as he doesn’t broaden his humour to anything more than being different. He stopped before he lost the audience which was probably a good thing as most of the crowd were baffled by the end of his segment. Nevertheless, he was mildly entertaining though okay in small doses.

Andrew Watts was the peak of the evening after Hiroshi. The Stephen Fry/Boris Johnson hybrid is as charismatic as he is relatable, using contemporary humour surrounding the difficulties of dating that felt witty and original; even his dark humour was well received. Easily a five star performance, who would probably feel more at home on Have I Got News For You, Watts was by far the highlight of the evening.

Joe Bains (not his full name), arrived next and proceeded to drag the evening exceedingly slowly after the momentum of Watts. His stereotype jokes are, ironically, stereotypical, whilst he requested way too many applauses for himself. An enthusiastic character, but weak with comedy, Bains let down the rest of his peers.

Lastly, Mark Bright took to the stage with an ‘ello mate’ and a pint of beer (as one does in Cornwall), before setting off streams of laughter from every corner of the room. A self-deprecating man, particularly about his weight, Bright was capable of amusing the audience with national jokes that he condenses to a local scale. He also took the piss out of tired puns and long winded anecdotes in comedy routines, which inadvertently also ripped upon some of his predecessors of the show. Mark Bright is Shrek if he did stand up. Blunt, honest and unafraid to speak his mind, Bright ended the night on a high note.

Reviews by Stuart Mckenzie

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The Blurb

Proud to support the Free Festival, The 99 Club brings a selection of some of the best comics at the Fringe. Four different comics perform every day and quality is guaranteed. The 99 Club has won Best London Club four years running at the Chortle Awards, featured on BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel Four and Radio 4, and has been Critics' Pick, Choice or Must See event in The Guardian, Time Out, Daily Mirror, Metro, Evening Standard and many more...