Adam Riches is Coach Coach
  • By Will Pope
  • |
  • 11th Aug 2015
  • |
  • ★★★★★

While Riches’ audiences are usually treated – one might say subjected, if you’re on the front row - to an abundance of audience participation, this year’s iteration features only one such instance. Having seen Riches involve several mortified members of the public in his act in previous shows, I was expecting him to unleash a range of madcap characters to facilitate these interactions, which tended to be the funniest part of his immersive comedy performances. It was the sheer unpredictability of these encounters which made each and every time you saw Riches unique.

This is an immersive comedic experience like no other; wonderfully self-referential and completely absorbing.

In this sense, I was initially disappointed that Riches stuck to playing just one character for the duration of the show. However, I was delighted with the prospect of an hour-long narrative showcasing the fantastic Coach Eric Coach, an embittered, chewing gum-addicted high school sports coach hellbent on his team – The Centaurs – beating their rivals, the Lizards in a winner-takes-all game of Volfsball in the Yakult Varsity Cup (what else?) This elaborate character-comedy parodies the classic narrative arc of every 80s teen movie; there is even a love interest (David Elms), who shines as a teen wolf.

Repeating “Coach, Coach, Coach” to himself with unbridled confidence, Riches’ portrayal of Coach Coach is reminiscent of Ben Stiller in Dodgeball and Will Ferrell in Old School. Crucially, his supporting cast are also phenomenal; Coach Coach’s team the Centaurs are a bunch of underdog misfits, featuring the pitiably sweet Memphis Alabaster with two left hands, while the Lizards’ sinister ensemble is led by Swish Swisherstein, a lascivious and suspiciously old looking high-school student with a penchant for screeching his own name. Stevie Martin and Liz Smith of sketch group Massive Dad deserve special mention for their hilarious performances as Mrs Coach and Missy Coach.

The electrifying and infectiously charismatic Riches is consistent in his ability to make his audience feel like they are part of a unique show, which is not untrue; between his off-the-cuff wit and natural gift to make every member of the audience tremble in anticipation of being picked on, Riches has delivered a hilariously exuberant performance. This is an immersive comedic experience like no other; wonderfully self-referential and completely absorbing.

Reviews by Will Pope

Assembly George Square Studios

John Robins: Speakeasy

Gilded Balloon

Jeff Green: Happiness

Pleasance Dome

Adam Riches is Coach Coach

Just The Tonic at the Caves

Eric's Tales of the Sea – A Submariner's Yarn

Underbelly, Cowgate

GIRAFFE: Let's Talk About Sketch Baby

The Assembly Rooms

Rob Deering: Musicface




The Blurb

Let's get ready to Volfsball as the Queen Dome Centaurs battle the Courtyard Lizards in the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award winner's brand new show that just so happens to be the greatest frickin' sports movie you ever done saw, live on stage! 'A triumph of cunningly crafted, high-energy character comedy' (Time Out). 'Will make you laugh yourself silly and what could be better than that?' (Telegraph). 'I rule in this' (Coach Coach). ***** (Telegraph). ***** (Independent). ***** (Time Out). ***** (Scotsman). ***** (