James Acaster: Reset (4 stars)

This article is from 2016.

James Acaster: Reset

Another exhilarating hour from Kettering's king of comedy

'If you could start your life again from scratch, what would you do differently?' It's the question James Acaster presents to his audience in this exceptionally well-crafted hour of comedy. With his nonchalant attitude and playful, gawky demeanour, we get a thorough insight into what really annoys the 31-year-old Kettering comedian, starting with the people who'd answer, 'I wouldn't change a thing'.

After an incident with his honey company put him in witness protection, Acaster explains how he has taken a long, hard look at the world. He draws on the smallest of observations which manage to hold his audience for Reset's duration, including how phonetically aggressive the British phrase 'put the kettle on' sounds compared to how the Kiwis say it.

Britishness is a dominant theme throughout, and a teabag metaphor that touches on Brexit demonstrates just how clever Acaster's material is. He's careful not to take too much of a political stance, so no matter how long he talked for, he'd never touch on anything offensive or especially controversial. This exhilarating new hour is simply a sideways look at the realities of life and the humour that lurks in every corner.

Back year after year with a show that somehow tops the last, the next move belongs to those Edinburgh Comedy Award judges.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug, 7.30pm, £11–£14 (£10–£13).

James Acaster: The Trelogy

Stand up from the 2015 Chortle Best Show winner, as he presents Recognise, Represent and Reset on tour.

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