Chris Turner: Observational Tragedy (3 stars)

Stunning improv rap in a charming show about losing memory

Chris Turner: Observational Tragedy

credit: John Cairns

Chris Turner bookends this show with his absolute best material – and it's all made up on the spot. An accomplished improv rapper, Turner riffs on audience suggestions, which are at first arbitrary then, in the final segment, remarkably poignant. The skills with which he crafts on the spot rhymes elicit the occasional gasp from the audience, and rightfully so: it's probably the best impromptu lyricism you'll see all Fringe.

Turner's show is about memory, and the material in between has a strong storytelling focus. We hear about his girlfriend, and how his lack of a good memory affects their relationship; and his grandmother, who's suffering from Alzheimer's. It's beautifully timed, and very well put together but the meandering nature of his material means the pace lags a little in the middle. Stay alert though, because this is a set full of blink and you'll miss 'em zingers (a fleeting Linkin Park reference has had me chuckling for days) and clever callbacks. Add to that his enchanting impro raps and Chris Turner's a comedian you won't forget – even if he does.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug (not 26-28), 9.45pm, £8–£9 (£7–£8).

Chris Turner: Observational Tragedy

  • 3 stars

Fluid Thinking and Brillstein Entertainment Partners 'I saw a butterfly flying out to sea. It will get lost out there and die' (Iris Murdoch, The Sandcastle). Long-limbed award winner grapples with memory (his) and memories (yours). A comedy show full of 'truly masterful gags, crafted with intellectual panache…


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