Chris Turner: What a Time to Be Alive

Chris Turner has moved to the good old US of A and he’s back in Edinburgh to tell the festival audiences about it. In a dextrous hour of comedy and freestyle rap the comedian provides entertaining insights and impressive lyrical improvisations as he shares the observations and experiences of a well-mannered, tea-swilling, thoroughly decent English fellow in a whole new world.

Turner delivers an hour of entertainment which is well worth the price of admission – and anyone who hands out free transfer tattoos at the end of a show is fine by me.

Over the course of the set the comedian hits the big targets like Brexit and Trump, drawing laughs with some sharp one liners and pointed observations. However, his bigger successes come when the material deals with the things which are more important to him, such as family, relationships and tea – although not necessarily in that order. In these sections he hits a more natural note, riffing on his life in England and his move to the States.

Not all of the gags work and some of the edgier material feels out of place but the breadth of Turner’s references is impressive, moving from Papal history to the Wu-Tang Clan in a couple of breaths. Even more impressive are the freestyle sections during which Turner drops bars across a range of audience suggestions with great success, displaying nimble wordplay and a sharp comedic mind.

Has his transatlantic relocation changed Turner? Maybe a little. While he remains a likeable and engaging performer his new show reveals a new slightly more brash and risqué streak – albeit one which is often couched in self-effacing apologies. It’s an interesting change and although you feel he’s still finding his feet, Turner delivers an hour of entertainment which is well worth the price of admission – and anyone who hands out free transfer tattoos at the end of a show is fine by me.

Reviews by Alec Martin

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The Blurb

Post-Brexit and pre-Trump, Chris moved to America. Comedy is all about timing. Award-winning comedian and ‘virtuoso' (Guardian) freestyle rapper brings his 'truly masterful gags, crafted with intellectual panache' (Chortle.co.uk) back across the Atlantic for a fourth solo show. ‘The thinking man's comedian... mines for laughs in esoteric places, consistently digs up comedy gold’ **** (West Australian). ‘The best show I've reviewed in seven years’ **** (List). **** (Herald). **** (Skinny). Best Comedy – Adelaide Fringe 2016. Best Comedy nominee – Perth Fringe 2017.

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