Richard Brown: Hold Tightly to the Walls (3 stars)

Richard Brown: Hold Tightly to the Walls

A hitch or two dents the full impact of an often hardcore stand-up set

Shorn of his facial hair and debilitated by having to ditch the tech-based sections of his show, Glasgow-based comic Richard Brown falls back on a safety net featuring some old material as well as a selection of newer bits. An understanding audience are with him most of the way, though, as he delivers a series of jokes and routines which savage either various public figures or, more often than not, Brown himself.

It's not as rare as you'd think for a Fringe comedian to absolutely slate their venue, and Brown doesn't hold back here (though he shouldn't be too shocked that a bar called the Globe might have a national flag or two hanging around). He's clearly miffed to be unable to wield the video footage which would have brought out his points more vividly and afforded his show a pace and direction that might have lifted it up a notch.

Well, we'll never know how it could have panned out, sadly, but the evidence we're left with is of a comic with a singularly wizened worldview that lends a gloomy edge to some of his more taste-busting offerings. He rails against the notion that young people have it all too easy these days, is tickled by the fact that the PM shares her name with a former porn star, blasts the largely unreported aspects of Bowie's history, and tears into hipsters good and proper. Whether he's fully teched-up or not, Richard Brown remains a very welcome addition to the Scottish stand-up scene and is threatening to write a show that his still unfulfilled talent merits.

Globe Bar, until 27 Aug, 4.45pm, free.

Richard Brown: Hold Tightly to the Walls

  • 3 stars

Richard Brown / PBH Free Fringe Richard Brown brings a bleak, misanthropic and subversive show about politics, pornography and suicide to the comedy section of the Fringe. 'Fearless in his comedy, dark and, when he turns his comic venom on himself, brutal… Bleak and frequently brilliant stuff. Comedy needs Richard…

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