Steen Raskopoulos: Stay (4 stars)

Steen Raskopoulos: Stay

A sense of fun and trepidation in the Aussie's latest character sketch show

Solo sketch-show master Steen Raskopoulos returns with the simply named Stay. This latest mash-up of character comedy and audience participation loosely follows the storyline of an interrogation, where a young man is questioned by a tough guy about his whereabouts on 26 May 2017.

The Australian shrugs a vast cast of characters on and off with absolute ease and total commitment. Some are related to the central plot, like prisoners or a psychiatrist, others are familiar, including young Timmy, making the best of life's disappointments, and some are completely leftfield, including a phoenix in a burns unit. Excellent comic timing and quickfire improv in response to both the mundane and sparkling answers from his selected audience members draw huge laughs, but there's also a more poignant feel to some of the routines, as characters deal with sadness and disappointment.

A movie trailer for The Bad Boy of Yoga, a rap by a six-year-old abandoned at the supermarket, and Raskopoulos unintentionally breaking one of his chairs are some of the highlights of this eclectic set while he builds a palpable sense of trepidation as to what exactly did happen on the day in question. Raskopoulos then drops the characters to speak as himself, allowing us an emotionally raw and staggeringly forthright glimpse into the man and his creations. Don't book a show straight after: you're going to need a bit of time to process the magnitude of what it really means to 'stay'.

Underbelly, Cowgate, until 26 Aug (not 13), 8pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50).

Steen Raskopoulos: Stay

  • 4 stars

Underbelly with Token Events and Dawn Sedgwick Management The electrifying new show from the gifted character comedian and improviser. Nominated for both the prestigious Barry Award and Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer, Steen's live shows are a 'triple threat of performance, material and charisma. A flawless hour…

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