Yacine Belhousse: Made in France
Promising debut from the surreal, Eddie Izzard-endorsed comic at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
There can't be many comedy shows that feature jokes about conjugating verbs, but for French comedian Yacine Belhousse one of the main obstacles to putting on an Edinburgh show was first learning English.
Belhousse's style is surreal and pretty random anyway so his material lends itself to someone who's language skills aren't perfect – though it has to be said his English is pretty good. There's a magic dragon guarding a cheeseburger, a live chicken in his school playground and puddles of purple in the Pigalle district of Paris. It comes as no surprise to learn that Belhousse has supported Eddie Izzard on tour and Izzard has been mentoring his material's transition into English.
In actual fact Belhousse uses the language difference to great effect. The correct words and pronunciations to use become a topic in themselves, he also attempts to banter with the crowd in some deliberately awkward and obtuse small talk – 'so what is your favourite dish with lamb in it?
Overall Belhousse is an incredibly likeable presence, which is half the battle and this is a promising debut. It'll be very interesting to see where he takes it from here.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 17), 9.30pm, £8–£10.50 (£7–£9.50).