Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Al Porter is Yours, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Martin Gray.
Young Irish fella Al Porter has the gift of the gab and no mistake. He’s not so much kissed the Blarney Stone as had it surgically attached. It’s his first Fringe gig and he’s only 22 but he owns the room like a pro twice his age.
Bounding on to the stage like Tigger in a really nice three-piece suit, he owns his campness, using it as a lever into his life.
Porter’s the youngest child from an ordinary family on a Dublin council estate.
His parents didn’t expect a son who would happily go off with the white van bogeyman with whom Irish mothers traditionally threaten unruly bairns. A man regularly assumed by fellow air passengers to be the steward. One far too happy to kneel down before the local Catholic priest.
Yet that’s what they got and thank the Gods of Comedy they did – Porter is a real find, likeable, charismatic, a tad filthy and very, very funny. He’s flighty, but dedicated to improving his already considerable craft and giving the audience a proper show.
The suits, for instance, aren’t actually the wisest idea in the baking heat of your average Fringe room, but we’ve paid to see him and by cracky, he’s going to make an effort.
While his sexuality is part of what makes Porter tick, I’m not convinced the way the Fringe guide now adds such tags as LGBT to entries is helpful – gayness doesn’t define Porter, funniness does. Pointers can be helpful, but they risk ghettoising a turn most people will love.
Porter thanks you as you leave and you just want to take him home to be your new best friend. Sadly, no white van was to hand…
Gilded Balloon (Venue 14) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 14 August 2015
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