John Kearns: Don't Worry They're Here (3 stars)

John Kearns: Don't Worry They're Here

More wistful weirdness from the double award-winner

Being an award-winner doesn't mean people are going to like you. John Kearns knows this, perhaps better than most. Three years after his Edinburgh Comedy Award win for Best Show – which in turn was a year after his Best Newcomer victory, an unprecedented feat – Kearns is back at the Fringe with another oddball, absurd hour of character comedy, balding wig and oversized false teeth still in place. And some people in this packed and humid room are still just not getting it.

Kearns is hyper-aware of the tension, and seems on edge. But some of the best lines of the show come from his interaction with clueless audience members, and it's in these moments that his talent shines brightest. The show itself is characteristically wistful, and nostalgic in its charming deference to Eric Morecambe.

There are some solid laughs, but more than anything Don't Worry They're Here feels like a study in loneliness, a portrait of someone who's not sure where to go after running 'the race of his life' (as he puts it himself in an apt horse-racing anecdote). It needs a little more cohesion, but overall it's sad and lovely, falsies and all.

Heroes @ Monkey Barrel, until 27 Aug (not 16), 5pm, £7 or Pay What You Want.

John Kearns: Don't Worry They're Here

  • 3 stars

Heroes / PWYW / John Kearns / United Agents The only winner of the Best Show and Best Newcomer Edinburgh Comedy Awards returns for the first time. ‘Now this is how you do absurd comedy… a bold, hilarious debut… he has forged comedy gold’ (Chortle.co.uk). 'A true comedy original' (Time Out). 'Kearns could be your new…

Heroes @ Monkey Barrel, Edinburgh

Thu 17 Aug

Headroom (Ground Floor)

£7

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 18 Aug

Headroom (Ground Floor)

£7

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 19 Aug

Headroom (Ground Floor)

£7

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 8 more dates until 27 Aug

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