Edinburgh Fringe Review: Rhys James, Pleasance Courtyard

Rhys James


Rhys James was on the cusp of a breakthrough with his show last year. The follow-up is another step in the right direction for this young comic who pretty much has star-in-waiting running through him like Blackpool runs through a stick of rock. Well, one bought in Blackpool anyway.

This year’s show, Remains, kicks off with film of James meeting his manager, played by Matthew Crosby, and working out a strategy for this year’s stint to avoid piling up debts like last year. It’s a clever, knowing clip that sets out his stall as a clever, knowing comic. 

And from then on he does what every stand-up needs to do. He makes the audience laugh for an hour with easy-on-the-ear gags about everything from naff trainer brands to the bravery needed to be a comedian. He is a bit of a sweepy-haired, boyish identikit comic and he knows it, getting a big laugh out of comparing before & after pics of himself.

Beyond the middle class, suburban blokeism there are some inspired moments. I’d like to see more of his performance poetry, which he delivers at a separate microphone to distinguish it from his stand-up. Elsewhere his riff on famous last words might not be the most original of ideas but he mines it for some hilarious chuckles while also planting the seeds for more fun later.

If there is a fault here it is that maybe James is actually too slick. His hour is so well put together it almost felt too smooth, if that is possible. But if you want guaranteed laughs look no further. Catch James now before he is so popular he will have paid off all his Edinburgh debts and will have plenty of cash left over to buy decent trainers.

Until Aug 30. Tickets here.


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