You Have Nothing to Fear...

Ed O’Meara has some of the scariest flyers on the Fringe, with a teasing tag, ‘Follow Your Nightmares’. While it does not lie, O’Meara spends the first fifteen minutes of his set explaining his publicity: it’s not a photo of him, it’s not an inspirational book of the How To Win Friends and Influence People variety, it’s not a horror tour of Edinburgh.

It might be better called Confessions of a Chronic Procrastinator’ For what he means is that it is Nothing which you should fear – achieving nothing, being nothing. Procrastination is the great enemy: ‘I was going to start a website www.procrastination.com, but I never got round to it.’ There are jokes about family, familiar territory which is becoming rather tired, although he does whip up a great riff about a disastrous 80th birthday party for his granny in which everything goes wrong.

The meat of the set, giving it shape and momentum, is the idea of the top ten phobias people suffer from. It is fear of bears and some fatuous advice on what to do if you meet one which is the peg for the best comedy and is the fitting climax.

Ed O’Meara mixes some quite intellectual jokes with the lowbrow ones. Some whizz past people’s heads, but there’s another one coming along quite quickly. He still needs to polish; it’s all a bit faffy at the moment and some material has the slightly stiff air of having been learnt but not fully assimilated to the point of relaxation. However, I predict that Ed O’Meara will return next year an altogether more polished and formidable a comedian.

Reviews by Peter Scott-Presland

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The Blurb

We’re all afraid most of the time. Frustrated with this predicament, comedian Ed O'Meara has quit his day job. But is fear there to hold us back or keep us safe? ‘Mercurial wit’ (BBC, Writersroom).

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