Simon Brodkin: 100% Simon Brodkin (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Simon Brodkin: 100% Simon Brodkin

Ditching his comedic past is only half the story in this fine hour

Best known as cheeky / annoying character Lee Nelson and for his headline-grabbing pranks targeting Sepp Blatter, Theresa May and Donald Trump, Simon Brodkin finally steps onto the stage as himself. Well, sort of. While the title suggests that he's finally shed all traces of personae, it's quite obvious that this is still an act. And while he talks of his Judaism and past career as a doctor, he'll gladly throw veracity under the bus for a good joke.

Brodkin's particular skill is to fashion a punchline from nowhere. Halfway through a gag, you'll think you have a handle on it before he gleefully subverts your expectations. He has the striking confidence of a veteran fused with the freshness of a performer finally breaking free from the constraints of a character whose place in contemporary comedy is uncertain.

Brodkin is particularly good with the crowd, engaging at the start of the show and gaining trust, then testing and teasing before the hour is out. Tying things up with a mock eulogy which wonderfully perforates masculine relationships, Simon Brodkin has finally and gloriously cast off the shackles of Lee Nelson with a sublime piece of daft comedy.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 24 Aug, 9.30pm; 23 Aug, 5pm; Pleasance Dome, 16, 23 Aug, 8pm, £12 (£11).

Simon Brodkin: Troublemaker

The comic and creator of the hugely popular Lee Nelson is back on stage a new stand-up show.