Ivo Graham: Educated Guess (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Ivo Graham: Educated Guess

Another gem from this Etonian with a conscience

In a world where people will do absolutely anything to present a positive version of themselves for public consumption, comedians remain essentially contrarian about their image. In that vein, Ivo Graham lays in front of us his butt-clenchingly ill-fated appearance on The Weakest Link in 2009. It's hard to know what would make him squirm most: the hair or the wide-eyed innocence or his inability to get many answers correct.

Whatever it is, Graham uses Educated Guess as a means to make up for it, by playing a game of Name That MP, having memorised all 650 UK Members of Parliament. On this night at least, his dark history is not fully expunged as he fails to beat his previous and frankly unimpressive highest score to date on this run (in his defence, he did consign the names to memory at the start of the year, blissfully unaware that a snap general election was in the offing).

Tournament levity aside, Graham is on tip-top form as he once again pores over his Eton past while insisting that he's one of the good guys, despite feeling deeply and semi-reluctantly entrenched within The Establishment. Much of the humour comes via the multifarious ways in which he constantly undercuts himself. He's the object of almost each and every joke, whether it's recalling his (non) luck with the opposite sex at college, an epochal significance of the imminent loss of his Young Person's Railcard, and the holidays he's recently taken with his parents.

A wordsmith of the highest order (well, those fees had to reap some sort of reward), Ivo Graham has another Edinburgh hit on his hands. He might point at himself and say 'this legend' with the most dense irony, but in Fringe comedy terms he might reach that status one day.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 14), 8.15pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10).

Ivo Graham: Educated Guess

The Eton and Oxford alumnus muses on an eventful year during which he has realised that he has less courage in his convictions than ever.