Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Nick Cody – Beard Game Strong, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson.
With all the swagger of an unreconstructed Aussie bloke who knows he’s a supremely good stand-up, gangsta rap-loving, ultimate fighting devotee, special forces-worshipping Nick Cody makes a strong impact in his first Fringe show. Although his irritations are perhaps predictable – yoga; people with dietary intolerances or faddy diets; and hipsters, late to the beard game he’s perfected with his general slobbishness and indolence – he’s an incisive critic and an accomplished storyteller, capably sharing his experiences and hammering home his arguments with easily-riled common sense.
Although he can look back on his younger self as a macho idiot, with his own ridiculously self-mythologising nickname, he appreciates that he’s not come so far, leading the crowd in a fun if frivolous chorus of gun sounds to fulfil his combat fantasies.
Indeed, he wouldn’t be half as funny without a painful awareness of his failings and vulnerabilities, his relationship with his girlfriend an amusing balance of compromise and opposites attracting.
With a routine on flying that recalls one of Glenn Wool’s, and others on Asian toilets and entertaining the troops, his distinction from other well-travelled, seasoned club comics covering similar ground is a punchy efficiency that, at just 28, he brings to prematurely authoritative wisdom. Of course, he’s still the product of “loose unit … bellend” parents who mischievously exploit his subtle hand condition for their own twisted kicks.
And he still races in where other fools fear to tread, finishing with a tremendous account of his encounter with a bear in Alaska.
Almost justifying the hyperbolic, multiple intros he awards himself, Cody is an appealing, rough and ribald character, offering an insight into the self-gratifying male psyche. But he’s also a powerful comedic presence with bags of potential, ripping up the stage and hopefully, returning soon.
Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 28 August 2015
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