George Ryegold: Iron Face in a Velvet Beard (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

*4george Ryegold

Sturdily constructed and potent Edinburgh Fringe show from disgraced medic

Disgraced medic George Ryegold has an impeccable and reassuring bedside manner. He wears a fuzzy beard and corduroy jacket; his speech is peppered with avuncular Old Etonionisms (everything’s ‘bloody’ or ‘a bugger’); and his Radio 4-friendly voice is pitched halfway between Terry Wogan at his most seductive and a snoozing tiger’s purr. It’s this firm and familiar demeanour that lets him get away with risqué topics of discussion such as snorting cocaine off a baby’s head and the necessary death of the elderly.

It’s strong stuff in both senses of the word: sturdily constructed and potent enough to leave you gasping. Ryegold (or rather his creator, Toby Williams) favours long stretches on a single topic, so we’re treated to in-depth analyses of the best places for drug-taking, Space Raiders and the economy, the graphic origin myth of Dionysus and the benefits of a good imagination on the gun range. It’s this latter bit that shines least bright, though it does at least showcase Ryegold’s talent for a superlatively offensive simile; out of deference to the good (bad) doctor though, we'll recommend that you hear it first-hand.

Underbelly Bristo Square, 08445 458252, until 25 Aug (not 13–14, 19–23), 9.40pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

George Ryegold: Iron Face in a Velvet Beard

  • 3 stars

Character comedy from Toby Williams in the guise of a medical professional.