Niall McCamley: Lemon Jousting and Other Shenanigans

Of the many things you might see or do at the Fringe this summer, jousting with lemons has to score among the more unusual pastimes. But that’s what this show is all about - embracing the weird and the whacky, all presented as the hilarious stream of consciousness of comedian Niall McCamley. Performing upstairs in the aptly named Beehive Inn, McCamley works his audience like the Queen Bee of comedy he could so easily become. Not one for the shy, this is a show where everyone is involved at various points and everyone has their moment in the spotlight.

While that might sound horrifying to some, audience involvement is a real strength of McCamley’s act. Amidst the anarchy of his high-energy routine he is, ultimately, a compassionate performer. The audience are never the butt of the jokes; rather McCamley draws them in to share the joke with one another. A group of strangers at the start, the audience leave feeling they have shared one enormous joke with their new-found friends. The comedy is strange and fairly bizarre, yet there is also something very familiar about it. This is old-fashioned parody and silliness and McCamley conducts the fun masterfully. He is at his best when he is interacting with his audience, whose enthusiasm (or terror) he feeds off in equal measure. Although the audience was modest on this particular occasion, I am sure it would work just as well with an audience of two as it would with twenty. His only downfall would be if the audience simply refused to play along, as I’m not sure where he could take this act if that happened. This isn’t for everyone - it is foolish and participatory comedy that needs the audience to go along with it. As it was, he got some of his biggest laughs from working his audience and nobody was safe as he chipped away at the comedy goldmine before him.

By the comic’s own confession there is a certain tension running throughout this show. There is a fine line between comedy and sexual fantasy, and as the show draws to a close you have to decide which side of the line you have landed on. For the audience, it was sheer mad-cap mirth from start to finish. For McCamley himself, the end of the show sees him sweaty, fulfilled, drawn-upon and almost naked. Bonkers, but brilliant - the Free Fringe at its best!

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The Blurb

Hey Niall, how are you? I'm 'brilliant and bizarre' according to InterculturalArts and 'a natural clown' says Mr Skinny. Want lemon jousting, human gazebos and mermaids in sleeping bags? Then come on in!

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