Joe Bor: The Story of Walter and Herbert
- Craig Angus
- 6 August 2019
An emotional trip back in time for a returning comic
Five years after Joe Bor's last Edinburgh show, he kicks off The Story of Walter and Herbert with footage of his infant son, who introduces his old man to the stage. That time away clearly hasn't dulled Bor's awareness of how to endear yourself. Rule one: use your kids.
The Story of Walter and Herbert tells the tale of Bor's grandfather Walter and his friend Herbert Lom, focusing on their escape from the Nazis and a subsequent determination to succeed in their new life in Britain, as a town planner and actor respectively. Bor claims the show has been hard to do in comedy clubs; it's clear to see why, and not because the material doesn't offer comic potential. There are funny moments such as his focus on the short and snappy three-letter surnames these men bestowed upon themselves for their fresh starts. But Bor's overly reliant on his visual aids. While it brings a few amusing call-backs, it's never in itself a substitute for good material.
The Story of Walter and Herbert is worth seeing, though. It's clearly an emotional show for Bor to perform (predicated upon 'setting things right' after a not-so special final encounter with the old man) and the subject matter is relevant. A good idea, the potential of which is not entirely realised.
Underbelly George Square, until 25 Aug, 4pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).