Tom Allen: Both Worlds (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Tom Allen: Both Worlds

Credit: Steve Ullathorne

An elegant and graceful hour from a witty raconteur

Winning both So You Think You’re Funny and the BBC New Comedy Award in 2005, Tom Allen is an Edinburgh regular returning for his eighth year. Perhaps the most convivial host on this year's Fringe, Allen makes sure we all have a biscuit and are sitting comfortably before he begins (could 'have you got a biscuit?' be Edinburgh's newest catchphrase?). There are no gimmicks here just an hour of stand-up running through how Allen has found himself single and living with his parents.

The main theme is being gay growing up in Bromley, made ever more complicated by him putting on airs and graces as child, creating his own posh Victorian persona during secondary school. Allen doesn't do character comedy but hints that he invented the erudite identity he now inhabits as a defence mechanism.

This storyteller operates on the suavely sophisticated end of the camp spectrum. A dry, arch raconteur with multiple digressions into herb gardens, diving and the obligatory social media section, he effortlessly turns the mundane into sparkling comic vignettes. On paper it all sounds rather random but everything is tied together rather elegantly in his final wrap-up.

The Stand 6, 558 7272, until 30 Aug, 5.20pm, £10 (£8).

Tom Allen: Both Worlds

  • 3 stars

The award-winning stand-up comedian spins outlandish tales seemingly based on his own eccentric life.