Daniel Lobell: Tipping the Scales
- Craig Angus
- 20 August 2019
Hour of life or death storytelling from LA native is compelling
Daniel Lobell's Tipping the Scales is an accomplished hour of storytelling. It's also not especially funny. So when the Los Angeles-native describes his audience today as 'tepid clappers' it's not too much of an issue. We're all invested in Lobell's tale but, with his prioritizing the narrative over the jokes and a delivery that's best described as laid-back, he doesn't get many laughs.
We do, however, listen intently as his tale is a compelling one. His story, which focuses on a long-running battle with obesity, takes in weight watchers meetings, expensive rehab facilities and spiritual journeys, which all have mixed results. Along with that there's his own love story, a touching subplot, and his life-changing relationship with the late comedian Ralphie May. Lobell's mentor is central to Tipping the Scales, as he opens the story by placing the two in a steakhouse, and he's present for the emotional ending too.
Tipping the Scales is serious life or death stuff, ultimately uplifting but only after an exhausting journey. The sense is that Lobell is still too close to the subject matter to properly mine it for comedic purposes. The result is closer to a TED Talk than an Edinburgh comedy show.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until Aug 25 (not 24), 5.30pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).