Ed Gamble will most likely burst into the comedy scene just as energetically and promptly as he burst out onto the Pleasance Courtyard stage last night. It was clear to all present that he is brimming with talent and is inches away from unlocking his full comic genius.
Gambletron 5000 is already a gem and with just a little more polishing, could be considered masterful.
Gamble is never lacking in energy, and assured the members of the front row that he was not the type to rip into them (as he humbly admitted he needs every audience member he can get). This tireless energy lent itself perfectly to his narrative sections which in themselves were thoroughly funny. By far and beyond the best parts came when Gamble allowed himself the creative freedom to tap into his clearly wacky imagination. On a couple of occasions a relatively normal moment was transformed into a trippy tangent of thought that continued further and further, blossoming into moments of sheer brilliance; his sublime delivery, coupled with his hilarious actions, made it all possible.
Any material which wasn't quite as strong as these near-flawless moments was usually carried by Gamble's energy and as a result was always rewarded with laughs. The various narratives were linked by a central thread (of Gamble's various bodily issues) throughout the show, something which adds a succinctness and wholeness that many standup sets lack. It is a device that would improve many a standup's show. Also sprinkled throughout were precious nuggets of self-awareness, endearing honesty and delightful verbal descriptions.
Though he was happy to interrupt his show with some audience interaction, he did not quite handle these moments with the same aplomb as his pre-prepared sections. That's not to say he lacked confidence, quite the opposite. The show is not for the faint-hearted with lengthy sections on coarse topics and some rather amusing, but graphic descriptions of his lone tendencies. There was a hint of an uncomfortable air as he pursued one particular topic a little too far, but it was still clear that there was comedy at the root of his thought processes.
The show was tremendously funny and well constructed. If he had perhaps tailored some sections and allowed others the creative fantasy he is oh-so good at, it would be difficult to identify any flaws at all. I relish the prospect of seeing Ed Gamble as a major hitter on the comedy circuit in the near future.