This article is from 2006.
There are not many people who could pull off a comedy show about crossword puzzles, but Gordon Southern is one of them. To be fair, The Solutions is not really about wordplay at all, it’s about how you work out the answers to all the weird stuff that life throws at you. Southern’s infectious enthusiasm and energy allows him to jump (almost) seamlessly from Marks and Spencer to March of the Penguins and from long haul flights to Lord of the Dance, all tied together by the white board crossword that the comic fills in throughout the show.
The words he chooses are seemingly plucked at random but slowly build up into a whole story without appearing too contrived, allowing Southern ample room to engage in tangential banter about baby oil and feminist performance artistes. His conclusion is the only place where the master plan shows through rather too clearly which, although admirable, is a little trite. But after an hour of watching him ‘sweating like a footballer at a rape trial’ under the fierce lights, you have to appreciate the strength of his performance in bringing such disparate elements together.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 668 1633, until 27 Aug (not 15), 8.15pm, £8-£9 (£7-£8).