Comedy review: Neil Delamere – SmartBomb

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Neil Delamere – SmartBomb at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), reviewed by Martin Gray

It’s not a question of the elephant in the room when Neil Delamere calls a cleaner in after having work done on his home. What it is, punters are invited to guess at his latest Edinburgh show. I’m pleased to report that I was wrong. Nigel in the front row, though, was pretty much there, the smutty soul.

Early on, Delamere advises us to ignore the “Smartbomb” title, a holding thing due to a Fringe requirement that shows have a name come early spring for marketing purposes. The only explosions at this show are the explosions of laughter, which are constant, and justifiably loud.

In fact, the Irishman’s hour is centred on people he has annoyed recently, ranging from an officious football steward to super-honest German pal Dieter. And that poor cleaner. How can anyone get irked with someone as affable as Delamere? Well…

Delamere is a fast talker, meaning that while his routine has a beginning, middle and end, there is plenty of room for flights of fancy as his mind wanders, and he gets to know audience members. And he is smart enough to be able to connect as easily with a student as a space scientist.

Things we learned included how your fiancée can persuade a priest you’re a good Catholic to ensure the wedding of her dreams, why you can’t take portions of fruit to a Liverpool FC game, and what made Delamere’s granny glow.

A well-kent face on Irish telly – as well as panel shows, history buff Delamere has made documentaries on Norsemen and St Patrick – most of his audience hails from home, meaning many Fringe punters have yet to discover him. I hope they find him this year – as hilarious as he is hard-working, Delamere’s name is a cast-iron guarantee of a gig to remember.

Until 25 August. Today 9pm

Originally published in The Scotsman

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