The Colour Ham (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

The Colour Ham

Comedy magic act played mainly for laughs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

With any comedy show where three people are vying for stage time, there’s a real need for the audience to be able to distinguish between the various personae. The Colour Ham have certainly got this aspect nailed. So, Colin McLeod is the semi-serious mentalist constantly let down by his cohorts’ failings; Kevin McMahon is the sensitive magician who gets most of the sympathy from a packed crowd; and Gavin Oattes is the trio’s clown, forever getting things back-to-front and upside down, and either looking for the audience’s support or threatening it from afar.

The magic-based feats they conjure up are decent enough albeit with a heavy sense of déjà vu, but the hour’s pleasure comes mainly from the mucking about. It’s little wonder that McLeod is off doing his own solo show, given that his impressive work is largely sidelined for silliness.

When you think of the séance sequence, it’ll be Oattes’ whale impersonation and McMahon trying to blend into the background dressed in a black bodysuit that you’ll remember rather than any jaw-dropping mentalism. And any fans of Ghost out there will be delighted to learn that it’s surely the most referenced film from 1990 among this year’s Fringe comedy acts.

The Caves, 556 5375, until 23 Aug, 7.40pm, £8–£11.

The Colour Ham

  • 3 stars

Magical comedy sketch group comprising Colin McLeod, Gavin Oattes and Kevin McMahon, making good use of absurdity, magic and mentalism. Member Gavin Oattes allegedly once licked Paul Daniels' face, so anything could happen, really.