Shaggy haired and stunningly bearded, Noah Torn launches the Edinburgh Revue Stand-Up Show with a bang. The opening moments of Torn's set risk bewildering his viewers somewhat, what with his claim that he likes to warm up by fighting with an audience member and his invitation to participate in a knock-knock joke that he later reveals will only work if the audience collectively pretend to be out of the house, but this unconventional comedian eventually wins the crowd round. Between the budget soundboard he uses to accent his storytelling and the talking sock puppet he spectacularly falls out with on stage, Torn packs a great deal of invention and promise into the opening set of this stand-up showcase.
All good things come to an end though and unfortunately the remaining members of the Edinburgh Revue on show here can't quite match the standard set by Torn. Becky Price's material is strong on paper but suffers from her shaky delivery, though she's refreshingly blunt on the comedic use of the c-word: 'if you've got one, you're qualified’. Adam Todd plays off his limited stature with a nervy character who draws the sort of uncomfortable laughs that fans of The Office are well familiar with, while 2012 Chortle Student Comedy Award finalist Hari Sriskantha deftly spears societal preconceptions with tales of confounding anyone who assumes he 'no speaka da English' by replying in German with a French accent.
None of these more ordinary stand-up sets are by any means bad, but after the heady variety of Torn's material they seem remarkably plain. The Edinburgh Revue Stand-Up Show is already strong, it's just frustrating to leave it feeling that it's only a small sequencing change away from reaching even greater heights. Save the best 'til last, guys.