Pierre Novellie is Cool Peter (3 stars)

This South African boffin-boy gets plenty comedy joy from over-analysis

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Pierre Novellie is Cool Peter

Out of a nerdy childhood spent obsessively playing Warhammer and reading Private Eye, all the while longing for middle age, Pierre Novellie has finally embraced his 'weird little professor' tendencies. The over-analysing, the unshakeable feeling of being uncool, the morbidly obese phase: it was all, apparently, leading him up to a sort of polite epiphany. He's recently become comfortable in his own (slightly overly hirsute) skin, and now wears his maudlin, geeky sides with well-deserved pride.

A white South African (he's still not recovered from his teen comedy hero Dara Ó Briain mentioning them in his Room 101 shit-list, and plays the clip just so he can air his grievances about that), Novellie grew up on the Isle of Man with an Italian-French name, which gives him a nicely square-peg-in-a-round-hole take on UK life.

His mix of medieval, Latin and mid-century vocab is superbly jarring, especially when he drops the bombshell that he's actually only 25. Although there are a couple of lulls in the hour, Novellie's scholarly turn of phrase can also be spit-out-loud funny. Ending with casual conclusions about how to balance his disengaged, depressive side with a more laid-back, 'cool' version of himself, the boffin-boy has evolved into something intriguing and entertaining.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug, 9.45pm, £8.50–£10 (£7.50–£9).

Pierre Novellie is Cool Peter

  • 3 stars

CKP Groovy! Woah! Pierre Novellie is not cool but he is trying. Is it cool to be depressed? Is it cool to have read an 800-year-old poem about magical, vaginal ventriloquism? Come and see! Appearances include BBC Radio 4's The Rest is History, Channel 4's Comedy Blaps, 4oD's Taxi Gags, and BBC Three's Edinburgh Comedy…

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