Jonny Pelham: Fool's Paradise (3 stars)

An adorable misfit abruptly concludes his promising hour

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Jonny Pelham: Fool's Paradise

credit: Karla Gowlett

As 'the only white guy at school', with his therapist parents and possessing a dysfunctional body that he argues disproves the existence of God, Jonny Pelham is an adorable misfit. He describes himself as a 'socially anxious man' and details the misadventures his unease has got him into over the years.

Calling to mind a young Daniel Kitson, Pelham launches into a funny tale about how he failed to thwart a robbery happening to a girl he fancied, the incidental details of which quickly get everyone on his side. He's a smart guy from a high-achieving family (he, his mother and sister all have Masters while his father has a PHD) and he applies a fierce intelligence and slightly skewed worldview to events around him (again with the Kitson comparison).

'There are lots of kids in here. That might be a problem later on,' he chuckles nervously as he scans a row of 14-year-olds. When we reach the offending material – an extended piece on paedophile teachers – Pelham's natural warmth and nervous energy get him by. Proceedings come to a slightly abrupt end and it feels like a more considered conclusion would have been fitting. If nothing else it would be nice to spend a little longer in Pelham's company.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug, 8.30pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10).

Jonny Pelham: Fool's Paradise

  • 3 stars

Phil McIntyre Entertainments New show from BBC New Comedy Award finalist and nominee for Chortle Best Newcomer. Jonny Pelham thought he was happy, then he went to therapy and now he is not so sure. ★★★★ (Sunday Times). ★★★★ (Scotsman). ★★★★ (Daily Mirror). ‘Echoes of Daniel Kitson in his writing’ (Guardian). ‘His…

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