Adam Hess: Feathers

It was a little hard to breathe when watching Adam Hess. And no, it’s not the questionable musk of The Hive that's to blame. The real culprit is the fact that Hess zips from joke to quality joke at such speed that it’s almost impossible to suck in enough air between all the laughter. It’s quite the abdominal workout.

If you ever thought that one solitary laugh per minute was just too leisurely, you’d do well to check out Feathers.

As soon as Adam Hess sprinted onto the stage at the start of the show, there wasn’t a single moment devoid of his signature pep. It’s hard to describe his constant fizzing; there’s no word which contains as much energy as this man. He rockets through his set, fuelled by who knows what, an all-too-happy slave to the jokes in his head, which are not so much told by as leap out of him. His excitement on stage is akin to a small child describing their favourite film — all of the time. It’s joyous to watch.

The jokes in Feathers are mined from Hess’ family, his abortive attempts at romancing, and the litany of other ridiculous social situations he tends to find himself in. His life is a constant source of comedy — which is partly useful, he admits, given his job, though not entirely worth it. For the rest of us, at least, these tales of woe are a source only of delight.

Hess alternates between ultra-quickfire, surreal one-liners and longer, hilarious anecdotes, equally proficient with either form. One side effect of his constantly whirring mind is that he is often unable to resist sharing thoughts that happen to pop into his head. These diversions can be a little disorientating, though are usually well worth it.

Not every gag is a winner, but the majority are, and those that aren’t are forgotten in a jiffy. It’s easy to forgive the occasional miss when Hess has delivered two more hits by the time you’ve even noticed. There is no grand unifying theme, and no important moral message — just an hour-long show overflowing with top-tier jokes. If you ever thought that one solitary laugh per minute was just too leisurely, you’d do well to check out Feathers.

Reviews by Jamie P Robson

Pleasance Dome

Often Onstage

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Zach & Viggo: Thunderflop

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Omid Djalili: Schmuck for a Night

★★★
Assembly Roxy

Chopping Chillies

★★★★
C venues - C nova

Communicate

Performances

Location

The Blurb

After his Edinburgh Comedy award-nominated, sell-out debut show, Adam Hess, star of Live From the BBC, is back and he's cooler and taller than ever! ‘For good-quality gags per minute, there's no better comedian on the Fringe' (Independent).