Edinburgh Fringe Review: Amused Moose Comedy Award Final 2017, The Space @ Symposium Hall: Page 2 of 2

After the interval red-haired mediaeval lookalike Alasdair Beckett King delivered a beautifully languid set which began with the classic gambit of discussing his own name and analysing his appearance. He looked supremely comfortable onstage and in a lovely final moment read aloud from the words of William Blake, into which he had added some ill-fitting observations which were clearly his own.

Lauren Pattison was next, with a ten-minute set which both introduced herself to the audience and delivered a beautifully edited extract from her show Lady Muck. Pattison won the crowd over while not giving them exactly what they expected, which shows tremendous presence of mind and originality.

Alistair Williams extract from his show left me wondering exactly what it might be about. It began with a speech in praise of food, moved on to diets and then to a theory of obesity that seemed dangerously low on compassion. Williams, who is a lanky blond-haired young comic may not be the best person to deliver lectures on how other people should eat.

Next up, appearing slightly nervous, was Harriet Braine, whose speciality is musical comedy themed around art history. Braine, accompanying herself on guitar sang about Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Tracey Emin and Leonardo da Vinci in comic songs that were original, clever and inventively funny.

Finally came Rob Kemp, aka The Elvis Dead. Kemp’s voice has suffered from his nightly exertions playing Elvis fighting against the forces of evil but he struggled valiantly on. Although Mark Dolan did his best to give sufficient context the audience was confused. Kemp, who is such an unassuming guy, admitted as much – but he gave it his all, and those of us who had seen the full show already cheered along.

Finally came the results. First came a surprise award - to Alan the Sound Man - who was given a bottle of wine for dealing with a difficult set of circumstances which would have been a challenge to any technician.

Ian Smith was delighted to be the crowd’s choice and said: “I don’t have an agent and I don’t have a director – so it’s all credit to me.”

Giving Rob Kemp the award for Outstanding Show Mark Dolan revealed the Elvis-alike still has a day job – organising exam invigilators in England. He praised the Monkey Barrel as a small venue which had made a big impact on this year’s Fringe. Kemp thanked the judges, saying: “Someone must have got it – but, (addressing the audience) I get it.  It’s a bit of a weird concept.”

The Kagools were presented with their award by Fringe Director Shona McCarthy, who congratulated them on winning the trophy and a gig at Soho Theatre.

Finally Dolan, surrounded by the acts, praised all the performers, saying this year’s Fringe had been exceptional for the brilliance of the artists, the range of talent and the diversity of voices. 

Read more reviews here.



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