Nick Coyle: Double Tribute
Meandering Edinburgh Festival Fringe stand-up show with flashes of quality
This article is from 2014.
Nick Coyle’s one-man absurdist comedy gets off to a very slow and cagey start. In a protracted voiceover he explains that his girlfriend Jenny has died and that this show is a tribute to her memory. Coyle then introduces a robotic replica of her head comprising a toaster, an alarm clock and a blonde wig. He tries to tell this ‘Second Jen’ some jokes but eventually tires of its inability to understand him. Later, he details her infidelity with a man named Garth, while in character as Jenny. Later still, he performs as Garth as performed by Jenny.
Soldiering on despite losing half his audience, Coyle is a brave but unsure performer. His surreal tale is horribly unfocused and he keeps returning to routines that patently don’t work. Yet, in amongst all the wreckage there are sporadic moments of hilarity, although he gets his biggest laugh during the show’s denouement when he pretends to be sick all over himself, which does seem rather symbolic.
Coyle dwells too long on surreal elements that don’t work, and he’s not committed enough to go all-out weird. There are pockets of his show that suggest he’s an able performer, but he’s served badly by this meandering mess.
The Caves, 556 5375, until 24 Aug (not 12), 10pm, £8.50–£10.50 (£7–£9).