Orlando Baxter: Suspensions, Detentions and Summer Vacations
A mixed hour of spot-on political material and humdrum teacher tales
Sometimes giving your show a theme can get in the way of a potentially corking hour. Massachusetts comic Orlando Baxter clearly has talent to burn as he displays in his opening and closing observational banter, but the real meat of his debut revolves around his time as a high school teacher. It's clearly fertile ground, but despite the crazy things that indeed have happened to him during his time in class, there's a certain flatness in those sections when compared to the edge he brings to more topical material.
The education system is the thread which runs through most of Baxter's set, but he has strong material about the ongoing debate surrounding America's gun laws, kicking off with an observation about Edinburgh cops and their lack of firearms and moving on later to the NRA's continual call for teachers to take up arms. Baxter witheringly demolishes that argument but then gets bogged down in tales of inappropriate behaviour in and out of class (by kids and teachers alike) and breaking up fights.
More interesting are his views on proportional punishment in school and his musings on how to deal with troubled kids. Now that Baxter has got all that out of his system, let's hope he comes bouncing back soon.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug, 7pm, £8–£10.50 (£7–£9.50).