Shattered

As a reviewer, there are several situations that I normally hope to avoid while covering the Fringe: it may surprise you, given that essentially I'm here to force my opinion on you, but what most of them share is a desire on my part NOT to be noticed. Stick me near the back, or behind the largest person in the room (assuming that's not me), so I can watch, listen and take notes in peace.

Lind has attitude, good material and an innate understanding of how to work his audience.

That's obviously harder to do WHEN I AM THE ENTIRE AUDIENCE. I'm not sure why Gavin Lind, on the evening of my review, suddenly faced an audience of one, sitting there barely hiding their Fringe media lanyard. Yes, he's still – despite being in his early 40s – in the early stages of his comedy career, so extremely unlikely to have sell-out runs in Edinburgh. Yet. Maybe the listing – describing Lind as a "shattered, middle-aged, gay" – is putting of the youngsters, the hipsters and Guardian readers? Or perhaps it's his alleged reputation for being offensive, crude, but – unforgiveably – not funny?

Important point to make here: my only source of information about the latter accusation is Lind himself, as he explained his relief that, sitting in the middle of the second row, I was at least not on the front row "Voodoo Seat" which had previously been occupied by hecklers, insulters and walking-outers. But let's be clear: Lind IS funny. Sort of like a South African with tinges of Australian Scott Capurro, being honest, although the irony is that Lind, like Capurro, will probably be at his best with an audience large enough to whittle down one angry walkout after another.

I'm well aware that my 50 minutes of Lind is unlikely to be like that experienced by any other audience: at times it verged more on a conversation, albeit with one participant holding onto the "stand-up's crutch" of a microphone. But Lind has attitude, good material and an innate understanding of how to work his audience. Above all, he has the grit and determination to go ahead, even to an audience of one.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

★★
Traverse Theatre

W*nk Buddies

★★★
Traverse Theatre

Pride Plays

★★★★
Multiple Venues

Oor Wullie

★★★★
Oran Mor / Traverse Theatre

Fly Me To The Moon

★★★★
Platform / Traverse Theatre

The Panopticon

★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Gavin Lind is shattered, middle-aged, gay and getting divorced. First World problems don’t get crueller than this. Or do they? Gavin is left wondering what happened to his perfectly mediocre existence. His body is giving up on him, he’s fast realising not everyone loves him. Mediocrity is not the safe haven he thought it was. So there’s only one thing he can do. Pick up the pieces and take the world head on. His amazing dad bod with its killer vegan accent has a lot to offer. And he’s out to prove it, or at least die trying.

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