Pierre Novellie is Mighty Peter
Consistent but safe Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy debut from former Cambridge Footlights funnyman
This article is from 2014.
The overriding sense that Pierre Novellie resembles the lovable BFG is hard to dismiss as the 6ft 4 comedian breaks into infectious giggles throughout this comedy debut. Intelligent lines abound throughout the hour, as he succeeds in avoiding the indulgent and all-too-common self-pitying funnyman trope; the crowd is spared tired gags when he talks about his significant weight loss and no apologies are made for his geeky degree choice of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic studies despite his declaration that it’s the reason he is unemployed.
Instead it becomes the source of some inspired 1000-year-old Welsh martial law jokes that must be a first for the Fringe. His odd cultural hybridity – French Christian name, Italian surname, South African-born, British-raised – allows for some witty observations about the essence of Britishness and our unique cultural codes that are hilariously delivered, even if not totally original.
Like his former Cambridge Footlights co-star Jonny Lennard who is deconstructing the bedtime story, it cannot be denied Novellie has made a promising start to his solo comedy career. However, while there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the show and the laughs are consistent, it errs on the side of safety too often to make it unmissable.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug, 9.15pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8.50).