Adam of the Riches
Hysterically silly Edinburgh Fringe show of generous and off-the-cuff brilliance
This article is from 2014.
For anyone with a track record of being in the audience or (heaven help your scarred psyche) up on stage with Adam Riches, entering his Pleasance Dome venue might seem like sleepwalking back into your worst nightmare. Sinister music is playing as three monks, head bowed, hands clasped, stand idly by while seats are tentatively taken.
As it turns out, these silent, brown-clad ushers are as in thrall to their master as the rest of us underlings, while one of them (Fraser Millward, who this year is also in Mock Tudor and last year ended his own show chasing a bus down Bristo Square) gets a Riches slating during the redneck tattooist sketch.
Doing his first full run since winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2011, Adam Riches kicks off by being Sean Bean, the world’s ‘muddiest actor’ whose less-than-stellar career choices are ripe for slaughter. To many, this might seem a little too close to his Daniel Day-Lewis for comfort, but rather than being thrown across the stage by volunteers, Riches-Bean slits a chair’s throat and invites front-row sado-masochists to play each other’s hair like a lute.
It’s as hysterically silly as it sounds and with mood firmly set, the daftness simply continues. Later he will be a shy Ryan Gosling as well as the actor’s less chaste mum before we witness a showstopping return to the fray for his alpha male Yakult-guzzling Victor Legit.
The script might not always be bang on, but Riches has the perfect safety net; his riffing with those he’s charmed onto the stage is never less than flawless, while the tasks almost always make him seem more of a berk than the participant. Adam of the Riches is a triumphant return and one that is generous both with its laughs and towards its ad hoc cast.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 24 Aug, 9.45pm, £10-£14 (£8-£12).