Aaron Chen: Piss Off (Just Kidding) (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Aaron Chen: Piss Off (Just Kidding)

Evocative writing and amiable shambling in a self-deprecating debut

Aaron Chen's PR blurb claims that a dark side of him will be revealed in this show. That's seems highly unlikely, as he's hugely endearing. Instead there's a gentle shambling quality to his hour and his gags are peppered with self-deprecating little chuckles. It feels like he's adopted a stage persona but then you suspect he's probably like that all the time.

Making his Edinburgh debut, Chen has already been making waves at festivals in his native Australia as well as irritating some footie fans with his idiosyncratic interviewing style on the ABC network. Chen's material isn't ground-breaking in any particular way but the overall tone possesses a teasing and playful quality that's continually self-conscious and knowing.

As it turns out the most nasty he gets is in the form of his alter-ego character in his gloriously overblown fanfiction Crazy Rich Aaron, misusing a pedigree dog's bald bits for his cocaine snorting.

But proving that there is some wonderfully evocative writing in there too, he relates his discovery of stodgy 'white people's food' and making his first-generation Chinese dad make apple crumble for him based only a four-year-old son's wild guess at the recipe.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug, 10.45pm, £8.50–£10.50 (£7.50–£9.50).

Aaron Chen: Piss Off (Just Kidding)

  • 3 stars

Fight in the Dog Winner: Best Newcomer 2017, Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Winner: Best Newcomer 2017, Sydney Comedy Festival Winner. Directors' Choice 2016, Melbourne International Comedy Festival. National Finalist, RAW Comedy 2013. Piss Off represents the dark side of Aaron, evil and mean. And Just Kidding…