Powered by the enigmatic personalities of compère Chris Turner, David Elms and Adam Hess, AAA Batteries is a show brimming full of energy, improvised humour and finely tuned routines. Performed to a packed room at the Meadow Bar, Turner kicks off the show in admirable fashion and shows real talent, coming up with most of his jokes off the back of talking to his audience. Twenty three year-old Turner, who is a natural when it comes to his trade, proved himself a master of puns complaining that he remembers when he used to think ‘The X Factor was just factor 10 sun cream’, as part of a series of roman numeral jokes. One of the most appealing parts of the Anthropology graduate’s set was his ability to make his material accessible for a room with several children as young as six – a trick his fellow performers were also able to carry off.
The next performer up was David Elms. Shy and introverted, Elms’ musical character was the exact opposite of Turner, but equally as well received. Elms carried his characterisation through everything he did, including the mellow, calm notes he played with his guitar. The pinnacle of Elms’ set was a love song he had written to a girl who worked in Nato – ‘Phonetic Love’. Elms’ audience interaction was subtle and very funny, suiting his character.
Third on stage was Adam Hess. At twenty-four, Hess, a self-confessed ‘desperate romantic’ had been through it all, including a harsh breakup from his partner Lucifer (or Lucy for short). Mixing awkward stories with humorous audience interaction, Hess also deals with his partially young audience like a pro – at one point asking a twelve year old if they have seen The Human Centipede. Closing off the show, Turner as compère creates an improvised hip-hop rap from multiple suggestions, further cementing his genius.
The young comedians in AAA Batteries all have bright futures on the circuit and will doubtless be gracing prime time slots at the Pleasance in years to come. The boys are all quick witted, without cynicism, and hilarious. As a free Fringe production, AAA Batteries (Not Included) is definitely one of the picks of the festival.