Come Heckle Christ
Josh Ladgrove's Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy show is entirely dependent on audience interaction
This article is from 2014.
You get no prizes for guessing that Come Heckle Christ is a show dependent on the quality of its audience. Character comedian Josh Ladgrove props himself on the cross for (almost) the entire duration, responding to a mix of insults, theological queries and increasingly loaded political questions (when asked about the identity of the Antichrist, the Aussie performer doesn’t hesitate: ‘Tony Abbott’).
For the more predictable heckles, he has a few prop-based retorts prepared; there’s also an emergency contingency plan should things go silent. Those safeguards aside, though, the audience is responsible for the quality of material. Ladgrove’s responses are amusing enough (his refusal to stay in character generates some laughs), but he only really shines when someone in the audience shines first.
Fortunately, with a title like Come Heckle Christ, that special someone is likely to be a professional comedian looking to do unto others. On the night of this review, it’s Jess Thom, a comic with both Tourette’s and a quick-fire absurdist wit; the night before, it was Stewart Lee (with whom, Ladgrove tells us, he had less fun). If you’re going to take a gamble on an audience-generated show, a Fringe audience is probably your safest bet.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug (not 18), 10.20pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£6.50–£8).