Edinburgh Fringe Review: Alex Edelman, Pleasance Courtyard

Alex Edelman

**** 

When you’ve set the bar extremely high where do you go from there? Alex Edelman’s debut Fringe show last year bagged him the Foster’s Best Newcomer Award. So now for the comedy equivalent of second album syndrome. Follow that.

Everything Handed To You On A Plate certainly confirms that 2014’s show was no fluke. The polite 26-year-old is as skilful as they come, weaving together stories and strands and coming up with another personal piece that both entertains and illuminates.

As with his debut, the smart American talks a fair bit about his family. The spine of the set is recalling a rare chance to meet up his two brothers. It was particularly intriguing to learn that Edelman has a twin – and also intriguing to learn how different they are. One can imagine that he could probably write a whole show just about that.

But instead he uses the meeting at Dallas airport to spin off into different riffs. He suddenly became an airport God because he had an eight-point adaptor everyone wanted and this allows him to talk about other characters as they spin into his orbit in search of electricity. 

Elsewhere he uses his considerable talents to brighten up routines that in other hands could be considered hack. He is very funny and original about his love of Greggs and comically dissects the writing of a famous but ridiculously simple song. He also discusses very candidly his love affair with a fellow comedian (oddly she also talks about him in her new show, but she says that they have split up – maybe he needs to see her show…).

He not not afraid to go to darker places too. There is an anecdote about doing a gig in Estonia where a line made the audience audibly gasp. But most of all this is a show that will make you laugh. Whether Edelman wins awards or not this electrifying hour underlines that he is well on the way to being a big star. 

Until August 30. Tickets here.

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