Alex Smith: Not Even Trying (3 stars)

This article is from 2016

Alex Smith: Not Even Trying

Tight, polished performer at his best when straying from the predictable

It's not clear from the beginning of Smith's Not Even Trying what the show is actually about. There's a warm-up period where he talks about being a quarter Scottish, some quasi-self-deprecating chat about feeling out of place in rough Scottish pubs, and a dodgy paedophile joke. But, once he's on track, his posh boy act is kinda endearing, kinda annoying-in-an-acceptable-way.

The narrative theme finally comes into play: Smith is recently married and people keep asking him when he and his wife are going to have children, hence the 'not even trying' title. This leads on to a discussion of his mortality, triggered by his being diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, caused – and I told you he was posh – by excessive consumption of champagne.

A guitar sits off to the right of the stage, which can be worrying for a Fringe show, but Smith manages to combine funny lyrics with a good singing voice, so it's actually a shame he only gives us three songs. He's tight and polished, but it's when he strays from predictable jokes ('no one has ever cooked the right amount of pasta', etc) that he's his funniest.

Whistlebinkies, until 27 Aug, 5.15pm, free.

Alex Smith – Not Even Trying

  • 3 stars

Alex Smith / PBH's Free Fringe Stand-up comedian,, You and Your Wedding and Rock'n'Roll Bride columnist Alex Smith returns after his triumphant Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut hour in 2015. Alex must come to terms with a life(style)-altering diagnosis; he contemplates his own mortality, fathering…