James Acaster: Amongst Other Things
Mixing up the comedy flavours
This article is from 2011.
In the modern stand-up world, there seems to be a desperate need to fill every moment with high-octane verbiage, constant blather and, maybe, a spot of shouting while running, hoping to dear christ that your mic-cheek stays in position. You won’t find yourself Live at the Apollo any time soon with all that taking-your-time nonsense.
There are few comics who dare to use a lot of space and a little bit of silence to their advantage, but solo debutant James Acaster is one such rare breed. He takes absolute real-time ages to impersonate someone creeping around in the dark, messes around with a semi-willing audience member to re-enact a recent skydive and even departs the stage to let his old teddy bear do the talking.
But it’s a glorious bonus when he does simply tell tales, as he just so happens to be blisteringly funny and highly original, riffing intriguingly on flavours of doughnuts, the joys of hiding and how to make surprise parties more, well, surprising. Perhaps Acaster has simply observed the competition and realised that standing out in stand-up means mixing it up a little, the only sure way to keep the attention of a crowd in a sweatbox fixed at all times.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug (not 16), 9.45pm, £9.50–£12 (£8–£10.50).