Josh Widdicombe: If This Show Saves One Life (3 stars)

This article is from 2011

Josh Widdicombe: If This Show Saves One Life

Steering away from the dangers of blanding out

After an impressive opening flurry of gags about trees, scissors and burglars, Josh Widdicombe is suddenly bumped off his stride. Not by hecklers per se, but by the woman on his front row who has, shall we say, a bit of a thing for him. Once the awkward hilarity of the scenario subsides, he does eventually recover, but oddly never quite hits the same mark again. Still, there’s more than enough evidence in his Fringe debut hour to show that Widdicombe is an adept and warm stand-up who will be playing spaces with a lot more elbow room than the Pleasance Hut in years to come.

Pitching himself as an observational comic with a permanently bamboozled reaction to the weirdness all around, he frets about common phrases that people say that seem to have been designed simply to irritate Josh Widdicombe. And why do people have a special dish that they put their wet teabags in? Madness. And what’s the deal with waxy tyrants at Madame Tussauds? Traffic light parties: what’s that all about? Widdicombe’s chosen topics may be a recipe for blandness, but he has developed a keen eye for teasing out an original and deftly funny punchline. Let’s hope the groupies stay away for the rest of the run.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 28 Aug, 7.15pm, £10–£11 (£8.50–£9.50).

Josh Widdicombe: If This Show Saves One Life

Hotly anticipated debut show from one of comedy's fastest rising stars. Winner FHM Stand Up Hero 2010, Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2010, Chortle Best Breakthrough Act nominee 2011. ‘Excellent’ (The Guardian), ‘Packed with quirky observations, bundled up in an assured performance’ (Chortle), ‘Josh Widdicombe has…