Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Peter Brush: Older Than the Oldest Dog That Ever Lived, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson
Setting expectations to middling with his self-effacing intro, Peter Brush’s underpowered stage presence and low-key delivery can’t hide the fact that he’s a fine joke-writer, inventively playing with language and finding unlikely angles from which to explore universal concerns.
Take mortality for example – an overriding theme across his hour – prompting him to prepare for the afterlife with perverse silliness and a running gag about his competitiveness with dogs. A stand-up craftsman, he enjoys liberally topping his gags and sets up elaborate callbacks, presenting an ongoing meta-commentary on how routines are landing and how they reflect on his beta male character.
Both his Zeitgeist-y social commentary and personal disclosures are delivered with dry, unshowy wit – his parents’ broken relationship instigating a wonderful take on the Oedipus complex, his occasional vices inspiring offbeat drunken logic.
He’s a sympathetic figure, struggling to define himself since turning 30, and his fatalistic finale is endearing if creaky.
While he takes a certain amount of credit for foregrounding it, his lack of looseness sometimes betrays the calculation of his discourse, with sharp lines attracting appreciative smiles rather than belly laughs.
Regardless, he’s an exciting talent with room to develop.
Just the Tonic at The Community Project (Venue 27), until 30 August, 6:55pm
Published in The Scotsman on 25 August 2015
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