Gary Little – The Thing Is

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06/08/14

The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh

We chanced on Gary Little by way of the official Edinburgh Festival Fringe app, which has a handy section called ‘nearby now.’ It was five o’clock; we had a couple of hours to kill; what should we see? It had to be something in the less Fringe-dense New Town, so that we could be sure to make our later – planned – appointment with One Man Breaking Bad in St Andrew’s Square (see review). And, on paper, Gary Little’s show seemed to fit the bill. An hour at our favourite comedy club, The Stand, rarely disappoints, and we were keen to see at least one Scottish performance during our sojourn in the capital.

Little is certainly engaging; he commanded the tiny stage and my attention never wandered. There were inspired moments when he made me snort with laughter, such as his suggested method for breaking Thornton’s toffee, but – over all – this show was not for me. I found Little’s routine too reliant on gender stereotypes (men only agree to cuddle because they’re hoping for sex; it’s a real disappointment to discover that women fart and stop shaving their legs when they’re in a long-term relationship), and his general persona rather too aggressive (I couldn’t relate at all to the idea of chasing down a fellow dog-walker in a park because he failed to say, “All right?”).

That said, the latter section of the set was – for me – markedly better; Little’s routine about visiting Auschwitz was a lot less hackneyed, and his final piece about using Abba Gold as an anti-depressant was genuinely heart-warming. If the rest of his show were as original as this, he might have found himself a new fan.

2.6 stars

Susan Singfield

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