Young comedian James Acaster returns to Fringe with Prompt

This article is from 2012

JAMES ACASTER Scouting for giggles

‘Daft and whimsical' Edinburgh show after introduction to comedy via Scouting

Stand-ups get their first taste of the comedy stage in different ways. Some might be forced by their long-suffering partner into doing an open mic night, others might have done some stand-up in their student days, a few have ditched their well-paid but mind-crushingly tedious jobs to take the plunge. ‘I did some sketches in The Gang Show,’ is not a phrase you will hear very often when you speak to a stand-up about their debut comedy performance, but it’s one that James Acaster is far from ashamed about. And good for him.

‘I was a cub when I auditioned which was a pile of bollocks really, because they’re not mean and so everyone gets in,’ recalls the Kettering comedian. ‘Every year I ended up in the musical numbers but eventually I got in a sketch because the usual people had left. There were three people auditioning called James and the director thought it would be funny to put three people called James in a sketch together. I think the scouts may have inspired me more than I thought.’

After a successful Fringe solo debut in 2011, Acaster is back with Prompt (‘I like the “mpt” sound’), and is promising no dramatic change of tack from last year; so we can expect chatty semi-surreal banter, some silences while a scene is played out for its visual comedy and a general recurrence of the ‘daft and whimsical’. But his playful audience interaction might be down a few percentage points. ‘I won’t be jumping on people’s backs pretending to be a jetpack. If I did that two years in a row, I’d just be known as the back-guy and every year I’d have to think of a new way to mount a member of the audience.’

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 4–26 Aug, 8.15pm, £10–£12 (£8.50–£10.50). Previews until 3 Aug, £5.

James Acaster - Prompt

  • 4 stars

Phil McIntyre Management. James Acaster returns to Edinburgh with a show full to the brim of comedy. Prepare yourself for flights of fancy, remarkable gesticulation and maybe even some tempo changes. One thing's for sure - you will go absolutely bananas. 'Blisteringly funny and highly original' (List). 'An undeniable and…

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