Unicornucopia is James Ross’s insane and breakneck hour of Free Fringe stand-up, in which he rattles with hilarious speed through topics of colleagues, love, dreams and some hilariously bad puns and chemistry in-jokes. Running at the show with an almost childlike energy, Ross gives an endearingly energetic performance to the assembled punters that is bigger and bolder than some of the more well known comedy acts at the festival.

Ross is an extremely promising feather in PBH’s cap.

The material is well observed, with a set piece about a new and altogether incredibly realistic superhero having the audience in stitches, performed at an incredible comic speed with Ross seemingly not pausing for breath during the entire five-minute bit. The pelting of these irreverent and hilarious ideas is one example of this stand-up’s style of comedy at it’s best. While a little more cohesion between the different points in the set would tie the show together more and give a greater feeling of completeness to the gags, Ross is an extremely promising feather in PBH’s cap.

The show also featured two guests both from the Free Fringe stand-up programme: Stephanie Laing and Alasdair Beckett-King. Stephanie Laing offered up a gloriously silly set, coming across as wonderfully unpretentious and getting the audience on her side from the first line. Her off-the-wall observations about her own anxieties were delivered with awkward tenacity and came off as entirely believable mementoes of her everyday life.

Alasdair Beckett-King not only brought the best hair-and-beard combo of the Fringe so far to the show, but his laid back and incredibly English form of stand-up was incredibly well observed, and all the more entertaining in contract to Ross’s high-speed declamations. Beckett-King’s clever and subtle wordplay and simple material made for big laughs from the audience, revelations about Hitler and vegetarianism providing for some of the best jokes of the gig.

While some often turn away from Free Fringe events with low expectations, these three performers have proven that there are gems hiding in the extremely extensive programme, and are definitely worth seeking out.

Reviews by Andy Smith

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The Blurb

Have you ever seen James Ross and James Ross in the same place at the same time? Maybe they're the same person. Please come see my show. My plan B is an unbelievably sinister reboot of childhood favourite Pass the Pigs based on human teeth. Also two guests! 'Freaking genius' **** (ThreeWeeks). 'Well spoken but bat-shit insane' (Culture-Slut.com).