Josh Pugh: The Changingman
- Murray Robertson
- 19 August 2018
Insightful stand-up with an admirable gag rate
It's hard to believe that this is only Josh Pugh's second Fringe outing. The former English Comedian of the Year is a tremendously assured performer with a warm stage presence and, right from the start, he's in full command of some wonderfully off-kilter wordplay. You might think you can see his punchlines coming a mile off but the chances are he has a firm grip on the rug beneath your feet.
Exploring themes of self-identity and how we judge one another, Pugh is an insightful comedian with an impressive gag rate. While there isn't too much laugh-out-loud material, his daft stories are always entertaining and he has an understanding of the human condition that suggests an old head on young shoulders.
His relative youth is occasionally betrayed by some of the more trivial material but he has a keen eye for observation, while his awkward relationship with his father provides some memorable quips. As he brings The Changingman to a close, Pugh neatly layers call-backs into place. This is a well-crafted hour, and it's a good opportunity to catch him while he's still performing in a relatively intimate space.
Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 26 Aug, 6.50pm, £5 (£3) in advance or donations at the venue.