Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Tom Stade: You’re Welcome!, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Claire Smith.
Some people have likability in spades. And Tom Stade charms his audience from the moment he heckles the pre-show safety announcement in his trademark husky, sweary and irreverent voice. Canadian, but now living in Edinburgh, Stade strides on to the stage like our own neighbourhood rock star – but immediately subverts his image with a tale of how his Glastonbury didn’t go quite according to plan.
The comic buddies up with his audience – getting to know a few by name so he can refer back to them during the show.
He’s in his forties now, but he still attracts a younger crowd – drawn in by his languid, irresponsible, rock’n’roll vibe.
He’s one of us. And he has some great stuff about why we love predictable TV shows like Cash in the Attic, why people in Edinburgh shop in TKMaxx and why he no longer feels Canadian.
Material about the meaning of the word “immigrant” and about the use of third-world sweat shops to make capitalist schmutter give his show a thoughtful edge – which is not really political but which burns with a big humanitarian egalitarian heart.
The rape joke he ends with is not really strong or clever enough to use as a closer and he probably shouldn’t chuck in throwaway lines about smacking his wife.
But it is carelessness and wilful rule-breaking rather than callousness that occasionally make him wander over the line. Fundamentally the bad boy of comedy is benign.
And Stade’s easy-going style is hard to resist. Even when he is standing on stage in such a grand setting beneath the Georgian chandeliers of the ballroom, you walk out of his show feeling like you’ve spent some quality time with a boisterous but loveable friend.
The Assembly Rooms (Venue 20) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 28 August 2015
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