Richard Brown: Stop, Children, What's That Sound? Everybody Look, It's Richard Brown! (3 stars)

A show set up to shock and appal doesn't quite hit the mark

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Richard Brown: Stop, Children, What's That Sound? Everybody Look, It's Richard Brown!

Given that Richard Brown thinks it's the height of lazy journalism to compare him with Frankie Boyle (for a shared physical appearance, nationality and offence-nudging brand of stand-up), there will be no mention of that in this review. What can be said is that the Edinburgh comic goes to such lengths to inform us that his 'dark' comedy will 'split the room' (an onscreen message as we troop in warns us that offensiveness is on the way), it probably feels like a defeat to him if no one walks out in horror.

In truth, the brave souls who made it all the way through to the end would have enjoyed a comedy experience like few others on the Fringe this year. We are shown footage that can be best described as 'when animals attack' with bullfighting fans and zoo visitors getting roughed up, before a robot (it's Brown) with a Foster's box for a head performs a funny lampooning on the Live at the Apollo school of commercial comedy.

There is a lot of shambolic charm about his show, but neither Brown's satirical might nor his power to shock are as transgressive as he thinks they are.

Just the Tonic at the Caves, until 28 Aug (not 15), 12.40pm, £5 (£4) or Pay What You Want.

Richard Brown: Stop, Children, What's That Sound? Everybody Look, It's Richard Brown!

  • 3 stars

Richard Brown Intelligent, alternative comedy from one of Scotland's rising stars. ‘David Simon who made The Wire was told his show put off the casual viewer. “F ck the casual viewer,” he replied. Richie Brown is not for the casual viewer' (List). ‘Utterly unique and impossibly inventive’ (Skinny). ★★★★ (Scotsman*).

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