Jim Campbell: Beef (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Jim Campbell: Beef

credit: Edward Moore

Central question left hanging in spot-on show

If you had the chance to live your life again, with the benefit of all your current experience, how would you do it differently? That's the question Jim Campbell asks in Beef, an hour-long show about daydreaming, relationship breakdowns, dogs and curses. Campbell has had a turbulent couple of years, with an engagement ring for sale (a joke recycled from his last show, Trampoline), but now he's through the worst of it and processing the emotional aftermath through daydreaming and laughter.

This is a spot-on stand-up show, with the one-liners coming thick and fast. He's particularly good on his family's curse (the infamous Massacre of Glencoe, during which the Campbell clan brutally murdered the MacDonalds in their sleep), and he has some original jokes on his break-up, a general area which is somewhat hackneyed on the stand-up scene.

Some cultural references fall flat for a multinational audience, and he never does quite answer the question posed at the show's outset of how he would live his life differently. At times, the show feels like a therapy session, but the laughs just about outweigh the sadness. Campbell is at his strongest when he's looking outwards rather than inwards, and it will be rewarding to see him build on this.

Just the Tonic @ The Caves, until 24 Aug (not 12), 5.20pm, £5–£6 in advance or donations at the venue.

Jim Campbell: Beef

  • 3 stars

Jim Campbell Jim Campbell descends from the infamous Scottish clan who inspired one of Game of Thrones' most brutal moments. They were not the good guys, and they're said to be cursed… 300 years down the line Jim is an anxious stress-head with their fiery temperament and a pattern of chaotic relationships. If he's to…

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