In an intimate venue in Pleasance, the commanding figure of Luke Benson stepped out in front of the modest but enthusiastic audience full of vibrant energy. His unconventionally hilarious show is loosely (very loosely) based upon Benson’s own take on legends. His sweet, lively and dynamic persona won the crowd over immediately with brilliantly familiar, relatable stories that got everyone chuckling.
This gentle, geordie, giant flits from one subject to the next with ease, moving swiftly from legendary alcoholics, to Thatcher, to the Minotaur and back again, keeping us very much on our toes. From here on in though, the show did begin to derail. Annoying, vocal hecklers at the back who refused to shut up disrupted Benson’s flow. Having said that, he did deal well with the hecklers engaging them and dealing them some pretty good jibes that went right over their heads but provided the rest of us with a good laugh.
His admittedly ‘patchy but confident’ knowledge of myths and legends saw him through some awkward moments of audience participation, he skilfully trod the line between offence and humour. Although certainly not afraid of a little danger, this comedian never overstepped the mark into shock-tactic comedy. The audience participation was fun and his structured jokes were entertaining but it was really his mannerisms and witty, casual, observational comedy that got people really laughing.
This was a very difficult gig to judge this comedian on. As he observed at the end, this was a ‘weird gig’ and probably not one of his best. With a little tweaking and a bit more practise with hecklers, this lovably cheeky comedian has the potential to be a five star act and with his hilarious take on life, charming personality and astonishingly agile wit, I can’t wait to see it.