Rob Mulholland assures us that he’s a popular comedian and then launches into a tirade against the so-called middle class comedians who sell out at the Fringe. It could seem like a less successful standup suffering from a bit of jealousy and having a pop at the comedy establishment but Mulholland’s points are well made and, most importantly, funny. There’s a comedy class system and a Fringe war of attrition where comedians need ever more bells and whistles to compete and Mulholland is done with it. This is where the meat of this hour of biographical comedy comes in; Mulholland wanted to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe but couldn’t afford it so he hatched a plan. An application to Arts Council England leads to him securing funding to present a one-man immersive play about a comedian who tricks the Arts Council into funding a standup comedy show.
The angry comedian is a common trope these days and Mulholland is brilliantly pissed-off at the world.
We are then told the tale of the various shenanigans a comedian can find himself in when he suddenly has £9000 of, essentially, free money in his bank account. It’s a story of believable and unbelievable events that Mulholland delivers with the enthusiasm of a mate who needs to tell what the hell happened on an epic night out.
Mulholland is a fearless stand-up; a shaken baby gag is probably the biggest risk in his set but it’s genuinely a well-crafted joke that, like many of his jokes divide the audience somewhat yet never completely alienates anyone. Where some comedians set out to shock, Mulholland just doesn’t seem to have any filters on his thought process. Rather than asking if a joke is likely to upset someone, he just asks if it’s funny.
The angry comedian is a common trope these days and Mulholland is brilliantly pissed-off at the world. His show title is very likely to soon be true.