Gareth Richards: Gareth Goes Electric
Pleasant and instantly loveable comic with a talent for storytelling
This article is from 2013.
It’s tough to discover a Fringe comedian who integrates nostalgia into his or her set. Usually the hook is something unconsidered and straightforward, pinned to the themes of being socially awkward or rejoicing in isolation. Gareth Richards does rely on these formulas, but synthesises a smart, robust commentary on the nature of becoming a performer and what fame means to us.
Richards travels back to the era when Bob Dylan abandoned his folk roots and picked up an electric guitar. He intersperses his set with musical asides, musing on topics from Kerry Katona’s handbag to realising that his tasty pack of ham is on the turn. These interludes, delivered on a bizarre electric harp called an Omnichord, are entertaining but soon wear thin.
Over the hour, his natural flair and talent for storytelling emerges, as he amuses with tales of unceremonious fatherhood and his appearance as support for Engelbert Humperdinck. Richards is pleasant, warm and instantly loveable, but the gig meanders during songs and is only at its best when Richards gets back to doing straight standup.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug, 8.15pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9)