Russel Howard (3 stars)

This article is from 2007

Russel Howard

Frenetic, frenzied frolics

Russell Howard shows a remarkable amount of restraint against what appears to be a natural inclination to gab with his audience. Other than to mock the odd crazy laugh, he concentrates on his material, which is an ability which the crowd requires in absolute buckets. Keeping up with his bullet train manner and the three-jokey-asides-per-second delivery is not the easiest task on this year’s Fringe. The inevitable result is that some of the gags lose their impetus with the odd mangled punchline or the slow-burning joke which might seep through 12 seconds later means that you’ll have lost the four threads he’s by then unleashed.

Last year’s Eddies nominee certainly knows how to whip up a stand-up storm but he can’t quite rein in his scattered material and the title, Adventures, feels like a last-minute deadline-buster. One routine about a potential suicide trying to be talked down worked beautifully but the majority barely has time to penetrate. My advice: stay as sober as you can, get to the queue early and scrap like a demon for a front row seat if you want to truly follow Russell Howard’s speeding trains of thought.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 14), 9.20pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10–£11).