There’s not a lot to say about Ivan Brackenbury that hasn’t already been said since he exploded onto the Edinburgh stage seven years ago, receiving enough critical attention to be nominated for the main comedy awards in his début season. His creator Tom Binns was able to follow up Ivan’s success as a fictional host extraordinaire on hospital radio with a more complex character in Geordie psychic, Ian D Montford.
This time, Binns gets his own half hour, if only in the form of Ivan’s ‘warm-up man’. Usurped by his two great creations, the man who has set two Frankenstein’s monsters loose on the streets surrounding The Royal Mile gets the chance to recreate a role that he used to serve regularly. (Binns is former warm-up lead on such television institutions as ‘Pets Win Prizes’.)
His experience is there for all to see. Binns regales a crowded house at The Hive with tales of his own early career; his wife, parents and neighbours all get an honourable mention, too. For those of us who have frequently been enthralled by his characters ever since 2006, it’s good to see the man behind the mask.
Brackenbury dominates this set. Energised by new quips set to unimpress his patients, Ivan has most of the audience in stitches. If you’re not knowledgeable of popular music over the past forty years, then it’s perhaps not a show for you, but then if you’re not culturally aware, may I recommend Skegness instead for your summer getaway?
One word of caution – don’t be disappointed by the mis-selling in the show’s title. There are no ‘Others’ on show – if you want to see Ian D Montford, for example, you’re in the wrong performance. However, Binns and Brackenbury suitably dazzle, so there is little need for others to get involved in the side-splitting shenanigans on show.