Edinburgh Fringe Review: Amused Moose New Comedy Awards 2018, Space @ Symposium Hall: Page 2 of 2

Canada's Anesti Danelis was the only musical act on the bill and is clearly very talented even if it was hard to pin him down stylistically. Not that that is always a bad thing if an act is funny enough. His first song about hating the haters had an Eminen parody vibe. His second song about the Toronto transport system – a subject we've clearly all been waiting for and rarely covered at the Fringe – would have been better if more of the audience had joined in with the non-PC chorus as requested. His final number, about missing mums, had a hint of Flight of the Conchords about it, but sadly for Danelis only a hint.

Have you ever had that problem where you accidentally listen to a podcast at x2 speed? Well Tom Little speaks at x4 speed. It took a moment to adjust but if you could get on the Cumbrian comic's wavelength he was very funny. He was different too, messing around with lines of classic poetry in a way I'd not really seen done before. It was stupid but literate at the same time and, as I said, if you could make out what he was saying very funny. Let's just hope he never performs after snorting a line of cocaine or he might spontaneously combust.

The Amused Moose Awards often throw in a curveball and this year it was high energy sketch trio Police Cops In Space. For me their funniest moment was when one of the performers tripped as he ran onstage and I don't actually think that was intentional. It was hard to work out what was going on out of context of the full show – I think the Star Wars-ish plot was set in an intergalactic bar and involved a quest for a new pilot – but there was certainly lots of commitment to the scene, with a spot of homeoerotic interpretative dancing and a man in some very tight pants and nothing else. It won the Outstanding Fringe Show Award though, so what do I know? Maybe this was the one that troubled the judges the most.

Final act, imposing Australian comic Damian Clark, was the most conventional stand-up on the bill. Clark is an old hand with unstopppable confidence and he breezed through his darkly comic set about getting married and becoming a father. He had a particularly cheeky explanation for why his baby had such a strong neck - let's just hope there was nobody from social services in the audience. The crowd loved him though and he was awarded the People's Champion Award. I'd have probably given him the main prize too, but it was nice that the awards were spread around on a night when the standard was consistently good if never actually sky high.




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