Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Asp, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kate Copstick.
Daniel Nils Roberts has done a really clever thing with this show. He found that he only had about half an hour’s worth of really good material. And so he did a half-hour show. He takes a few minutes to reel us in but go with him into what he calls the “hot bath of character” and you really will be glad you did. There is not a predictable moment and admirably few that fall flat. Even in front of an audience of only four.
We get an outrageously bloody poem to get us going and soon are deep in an explanatory talk about the work of Unicef (who knew 100 per cent of tiny men and ladies have to eat?) before an arty moment leads us to June, who loves writing about love. She is beset by imaginary birds but manages to share some passages from her oeuvre with us.
My favourite character is the GI chef who turns everything into cheeseburger and whose short lecture on foods to use as a weapon is one of the highlights of my festival. His declaration that “the good soldier makes anaphylaxis his friend” is sheer genius. Roberts’ Art Historian will forever destroy some of the world’s greatest works of portraiture in your mind and his way with a metaphor is worth one of these stars on its own. Through this beastiary of characters runs a bear-themed gag. It is clever and it is funny and it is tagged beautifully. A knowledge of Shakespeare is a bit of a help. A little Adam Riches, a little early Marcus Brigstocke and a lot sui generis. One to watch, most definitely.
Cowgatehead (Venue 32) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 28 August 2015
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