Rebus McTaggart (4 stars)

  • 8 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

You would be forgiven for thinking, given the name, that Richard Thomson’s first solo Fringe offering was a questionable play on Scotland’s great fictional sleuths. His ‘hilarious’ amalgam of gritty DI stereotypes might have been played out for a UK Gold audience, employing all the subtlety of Robbie Coltrane’s Cracker stubbing out trademark snouts on Hamish Macbeth’s Aberdeen terrier. In reality the Glaswegian comedian combines, if you can forgive the analogy, the tragi-comic narcissism of Steve Coogan with the fumbling charm of Simon Pegg into a wholly new and original rozzer routine, namely Ecclefechan’s newly promoted Rebus McTaggart welcoming what he perceives as his latest recruits to the force.

A natural and charismatic character comic, Thomson employs simple, straight-faced punnery, participation and faultless timing to draw the audience into the Joint Deputy Temporary Head Community Support Liaison Officer’s wickedly ignorant stance on police brutality, road safety and terrorism. Three further farcical but recognisable creations vary the pace and allow Thomson to further flex his comedic prowess, and as his assured presentation of these gleefully absurd situations approaches its zenith, it becomes increasingly apparent that Thomson is sure to soon break free of the beat and into the national psyche. (Mark Edmundson)

Underbelly, 0870 745 3083, until 27 Aug (not 16), 3.05pm, £7.50-£8.50 (£6.50-£7.50).

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