Wonderfully dark and disturbing, Richard Gadd has come to Edinburgh’s Free Fringe not only to make his audience cry with laughter, but also to push the boundaries of physical comedy. I won’t ruin any surprises, but be prepared to recoil slightly and whisper to your friends, ‘What? This can’t be real! Why’s he doing that for comedy?!’
It’s simply for this shock factor that Gadd didn’t merit a 5 star rating, because the rest of his show was pure, up-front laughter. His psychotic stage persona really fuelled the energy behind the performance and it was refreshing to see a comedy act with a strong storyline, rather than a lineup of simple stand-alone jokes. His co-star Percy, too, has a wonderful persona which works well within Gadd’s story. A perfect combination of great acting and fantastic comedy, Gadd impressed the audience with an hour full of laughter, creative use of scenery and bewilderment (perhaps this part wasn’t as fun, but I suppose it added to the believability of his psychotic persona).
Gadd uses a series of pre-recorded tapes and films to add to his setup, meaning the audience is able to see Gadd’s gradual decline into insanity from an earlier perspective. A brilliant and inventive way to combine storytelling with a comedy show; he was able to show the audience another dimension of his persona, one off the stage and in his character’s own setting.
I came out of this show wanting all my friends to go see it too. Not just because it was genuinely funny, but also so they could see why it was, for some, so disturbing. I feel this man’s commitment to comedy should be rewarded with a full audience and I know they will not be disappointed in this show. Funny, quick-witted and sometimes just plain weird, Richard Gadd may be part of the Free Fringe, but he is definitely one of the more interesting and original comedians around.