The Fringe Festival may be the home of the new and outrageous but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some classic hits as well. The audience was packed with fans for an evening of old school comedy from two stalwarts of the scene.
Jimmy Cricket opened the show in his trademark outfit (gumboots, evening dress and peculiar hat) with some of his trademark jokes. The crowd were in the mood to guffaw and they did: his lollipop man sequence went down as a particular treat. He has a genial manner and is so eager to please that one wouldn’t want to disappoint him by not laughing. His jokes rely on wordplay, and taking figurative expressions to their literal conclusions, but mostly upon his childlike charm and a certain smiling expression of incomprehension that puts one in mind of a dim-witted Labrador puppy.
Mick Miller is certainly not dim – he’s a hard-bitten Scouse with a biting wit and darker perspective on life. Pairing these two comedians together made for a good contrast in styles. Miller is a seasoned professional who delivers joke after joke in quick succession, never more than a moment between the punch lines. While some material feels a little behind the times most of his act is bang on the money and he proves that he can still deal with hecklers too.
While this is not the cutting edge of comedy by any stretch of the imagination, the audience laughed solidly for the full hour– you don’t stay in the game for 70 years (that’s between them, by the by) without perfecting pace, delivery and timing. The crowd was full of fans and they left happy. A couple of old dogs showed the young ones that they could afford to pay attention and learn a trick or two from their elders.