Comedy review: Chris Kent: Second Fix
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Chris Kent: Second Fix at Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14), reviewed by Jay Richardson
I can’t put my finger on it but something about the Fringe inhibits Chris Kent. The Irishman is a talented storyteller with a tremendous trove of varied, idiosyncratic tales. But for two years now, he has under-performed.
Whether he imagines his stories are so offbeat he has to spend so much time setting them up, I’m not sure. But rather than simply deliver them, he indulges in the sort of aimless crowd banter that would befit a club set, not a show where your name is on the ticket.
Firmly rooted in reality, some of his routines’ surrealism require more exposition than others. But even taking that into account, he makes odd choices. A bit on How Clean Is Your House? is among the weaker pieces in his repertoire and seems an ill-advised opener – less amusing than the more throwaway exchange he enjoys with a tramp.
His standouts are a distinctive account of the night terrors he suffers and his intimidation by a gang of boy racers. The first, especially, is a quirkily-detailed delight. Nevertheless, I’ve seen him perform with much greater confidence and verve. I’m convinced Kent could be the next great Irish comic, but not on this evidence.
MORE INFO: Chris Kent: Second Fix at Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14), 4:30pm until 26 August
Originally published in The Scotsman