Comedy review: Tom Rosenthal
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Tom Rosenthal at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), reviewed by Jay Richardson
A drolly entertaining hour of culture clash observations, Tom Rosenthal’s show takes its “unnecessarily problematic” title (which we can’t reproduce, sorry) from Bulgaria, where the Plebs star has been shooting the ITV2 Ancient Rome-set sitcom.
He has a decidedly mixed opinion of Bulgaria, portraying it as a throwback culture with limited consumer choice and a football hooligan situation recalling the UK in the 1980s. Taking in a match with Sparky, a none-too-bright member of his film crew, Rosenthal fears for his life, his ever-present insecurities sharpened by his Semitic features.
Although not Jewish, Rosenthal is “kosher for cash” in the sitcom Friday Night Dinner and employs his face here for a hilarious, unsettling impression of a cathedral gargoyle. This is one of two standout strands in the show; the second focuses on the arrival of Danny Dyer as a Plebs guest star, the geezerish Cockney actor arousing a further mixed cocktail of envy and fear inside him.
Cultural insensitivity is a rich seam for stand-up and Rosenthal capably pursues it, unsentimental and damningly funny about the failings of Brits and Bulgarians alike. A departure from the cerebral ambition of his debut, this is a straightforwardly amusing travel tale delivered by a likeable, witty guide.
Until 25 August. Today 8:15pm
More info: Tom Rosenthal is at Pleasance Courtyard
Originally published in The Scotsman