Edinburgh Fringe Review: Ed Night, Pleasance Courtyard

Update 23/8/17: Ed Night has been nominated for a lastminute.com Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer. See nominees here.

 

Night begins his show with some self-deprecating chat about his title. It’s the classic story, you have to think about your Fringe title before you write your show and then you are faced with the task of writing a show that lives up to it.

So Night, who is 21 and doing his debut show, chose a title from war poet Wilfred Owen and now he has to make a statement about the political, economic and spiritual state of his generation. He has an appealing self-mocking style but actually does a rather brilliant job of letting us know how it feels to be 21.
 
He’s not afraid to take on big issues - racism, colonialism, the monarchy - topics a lot of young white comics would be too scared to tackle. But he also drops in a lot of the real pre-occupations of youth - awkward sexual encounters, lack of money, internet porn.
 
Night, descended from Irish immigrants, living in South London (his father is stand-up Kevin Day), has an astonishingly broad perspective on the terrible economic circumstances of his generation. Things are bad, but not as bad as they were for others at other times in history.
 
He has the brains and the courage to see through stories we are told about coffee shops and gentrification being the culprit and lays the blame where it lies, with the class system and the establishment.  
 
If all this sounds a bit downbeat, it is at times. But he has some beautifully written jokes and the self-assurance on stage of someone way beyond his years.
 
He’s confident enough to interact with the audience with warmth and wit. When a man on the front row confesses he has diarrhoea he suggests a tomato might make him feel better, and takes one from a bag of tomatoes carried by another man on the front row. It’s a lovely, silly very Edinburgh moment.
 

Ed Night: Anthem for Doomed Youth is at Pleasance Courtyard until August 28. Tickets here.

****

Read more Edinburgh reviews here.

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