Chris Stokes: Altruism in Birds

Chris Stokes had a very bad 2014, and on reflection he dealt with it badly. It’s the reason the Fringe regular didn’t make it to Edinburgh last year, but thankfully it’s also the reason he’s back with this new show, a slice of very funny, well crafted stand-up comedy.

He’s a self-declared introvert by nature and some of the strongest material comes as Stokes reveals a range of occasions when he has found himself spurred into conflict with others.

Stokes has a confident, easy style and he quickly builds rapport with the audience by telling a story about a previous Fringe show he did in the very same room he’s in this August. From there he moves onto the substance of the set, recounting a painful divorce and the ensuing crisis in identity which propelled him from stand-up comic to full-time van driver.

Deeply personal comedy can tend towards the excruciating but a smile is never far from Stokes’ face, taking the sting out of some potentially painful stuff. What we get instead is a selection of stories and self-examination with riffs on subjects ranging from veganism to inter-age conflict, all underlined by a running theme of social awkwardness.

He’s a self-declared introvert by nature and some of the strongest material comes as Stokes reveals a range of occasions when he has found himself spurred into conflict with others. His sharp wit and clever observations form a body of material which is funny, intelligent and wonderfully self-aware.

Stokes is an engaging storyteller and his punchlines, though sometimes well telegraphed, rarely miss the mark. He brings a steady flow of laughs, and enough substance to give you something to think about after leaving the room.

During the show Stokes presents the modest boast that he is a good van driver. On the strength of his performance he can rest assured that he is also a very good stand-up comedian and well worth the price of a ticket.

Broadway Baby Radio interview with Chris Stokes

Reviews by Alec Martin

Assembly George Square Studios

The Fishermen

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Garry Starr Performs Everything

★★★★★
The Stand’s New Town Theatre

Loki, the Scottish Rapper: Poverty Safari Live

★★★★
The Stand Comedy Club

Simon Munnery: The Wreath

★★★★
Pleasance at EICC

Silence

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Jayde Adams: The Divine Ms Jayde

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Chris (Dave's One Night Stand, BBC Radio 4) was a comedian, then a van driver, and now he's a comedian again. He also used to have a juicer but doesn't now. He tried to convince himself a change was as good as a rest but, looking back, it was clearly a breakdown. Now he's back finding the funny. A story about - among other things - love, crisis, recovery and a seagull. 'Hilarious' (Scotsman). 'Very gifted' **** (List). **** (Skinny). **** (ThreeWeeks).