Comedy Reserve at the Courtyard

Comedy Reserve presents a great opportunity to see four of the Fringe’s ‘up-and-coming’ acts in an hour-long compilation show.

An enjoyable experience and a great way to see a variety of comedians

This year’s line-up includes Alasdair Beckett-King, Jack Carrol, Kae Kurd, and Tom Lucy.

The ginger-maned Becket-King opened the show with a positive energy. His self-admitted inability to swear makes him that much more likeable as he compares Western Christian Art to Where’s Wally, seamlessly going into some hilarious impressions of the former– he calls himself “Britain’s Best New Testament Impersonator,” pulling faces that words can’t serve justice for. His jokes on the dying ginger race and his lack of eyebrows feel somehow relatable and are enjoyed by everyone in the audience, not least the redheads.

Performing inside “That Bunker” at Pleasance Courtyard, the small, homely venue easily conducts energy between the crowd and the comic. While usually this was a positive energy, there were times during some sets where the awkwardness and tension were almost tangible.

Tom Lucy opened with a risky race joke and his mother’s confusion of so called ISIS and fashion and beauty retailer, ASOS, but other than that the humor was quite reference-heavy towards TV and football. The 19 year-old seemed to struggle interacting with the audience, continuously questioning members whose responses only became less and less conducive to his show. Although others responded to his awkward banter, the tension in the room started as a joke and eventually built to an almost tangible level as he pleaded with one member at the end, “please don’t make the ending awkward.”

Another young comedian, Jack Carroll, enters the stage aided by a walker. Carrol was born with cerebral palsy, but he hasn’t let it stop him from performing stand-up comedy, skiing, and making occasional light-hearted jokes on his own disability. He has a likeable stage presence and an easygoing sense of humor, although his reference-heavy bit leaves some jokes lost on the audience. At the end of the set he “tries something new” with the audience, which may not have been the best call since after the energy in the room has significantly decreased after Lucy’s set.

Kae Kurd closes the set with a slightly more political aire, touching occasionally on more serious issues like the refugee crisis and the pain of being Kurdish and not having a country- still nothing compared to a stubbed toe. He jokes easily on growing up in Brixton and reimagining pop-culture favorites like the Uncle Ben’s Rice commercial to include a hilarious Nelson Mandela impersonation. He calls gluten the “killer of the middle class” before he succumbs to admitting his own shame: lactose-intolerance.

Overall the show is an enjoyable experience and a great way to see a variety of comedians

Reviews by Jamie Stuart

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The Blurb

Catch four of the best new acts on the comedy circuit in the twelfth year of the Pleasance Comedy Reserve, supported by the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund. This year, for the first time ever, we're bringing two Comedy Reserve shows to the Edinburgh Fringe. The Courtyard line-up includes Alasdair Beckett-King, Jack Carroll, Kae Kurd and Tom Lucy. Previous winners include Jack Whitehall, Holly Walsh, Joe Lycett, Simon Brodkin and Daniel Rigby. Don't miss your chance to see the freshest comedy talent of 2016!