Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Richard Gadd: Waiting for Gaddot, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson.
Ramping up the intensity of his first two Fringe shows, nightmarish fever dreams simultaneously played out live and with video accompaniment, Richard Gadd has taken their innovation and manic energy and parlayed them into this free, late-night smash.
The less one reveals about this show, the better.
The cult Scottish act has wonderfully fused modern technology, the demands for festival spectacle and his relationship with his father for a twisted, grimly hilarious adrenaline rush of misadventure, illegality and knowing chancery. Co-starring a superb Ben Target as his nervy tech, plus a clutch of circuit comics and even sitcom royalty in supporting roles, Gadd’s larger new venue has allowed him more cinematic scope, which he seizes on with alacrity, playing all sorts of impish games across the screen and routinely delivering his trademark glances down camera – a quirk which, for all its goonish familiarity, can be relied on for gales of laughter.
Even so, the room remains dingy and confined enough to make the show feel truly immersive, the time-staggered plot unfolding from all angles.
Sex, drugs and violence predictably play a part. And as ever, Gadd is the degraded central fall guy.
But there’s a much greater sense of painful immediacy this year, no small feat given the paroxysms he’s put himself through before.
It’s probably too dark, unhinged and arch for all tastes, with the father-son relationship one of several Fringe clichés flipped on its forehead, this is nevertheless an excellent taster for Gadd’s now-flourishing acting career and you’re advised to see him while you can in these intimate surroundings.
Originally conceived as the final part of a trilogy, it will be fascinating to see what this “shit Kim Noble” does next.
In the meantime, Waiting For Gaddot is worth the wait if you’re one of those queuing round the block to get in.
Banshee Labyrinth (Venue 156) Until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 26 August 2015
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