Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Ed Gamble: Lawman, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Paul Whitelaw
The UK stand-up circuit isn’t short of white male comics who exploit their middle-class background for laughs. But Ed Gamble is among the best of this breed.
A terribly nice, well-spoken young man who worries that he’s not actually as nice as he appears, he nevertheless numbers a tireless respect for authority as one of his defining characteristics.
His chronic inability to rebel is a recurring theme in the highly enjoyable set, as he places his politely fussy persona in a variety of ill-fitting situations.
Gamble as a disapproving hip hop hype man is a particular highlight, as is his idea for a film about an anti-maverick cop – he enjoys playing by the book – that gives the show its name.
Full of self-reflexive asides and neat callbacks, Gamble’s humour darts down unexpected avenues paved with elegant turns of phrase.
He’s so personable and nimble-witted, he can even breathe life into generic subjects such as living with a messy partner. As he declares in his preparatory list of gig rules: “Some of the jokes will be cleverer than even you think they are.”
Blessed, like a Downton Russell Brand, with a cheeky, toothy grin, Gamble builds a warm rapport with the crowd as he weaves with ease through an hour of smartly ridiculous comedy. His charm is such that it carries him through some admittedly weaker spots, such as an aimless meditation on Batman. But most of his material hits the mark.
Hitherto best known, at least among comedy aficionados, for his cult podcast partnership with fellow comic Ray Peacock and a co-starring role in BBC America’s underrated Borat-style comedy series Almost Royal, Gamble is just too good to peddle in relative obscurity for much longer.
Canons’ Gate, until 30 August, 1:15pm / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 15 August 2015
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