Brendon Burns and Craig Quartermaine in Race Off
- Murray Robertson
- 21 August 2017
A unique double act that's a little rough around the edges
Ten years ago, Brendon Burns won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for his twisty, subversive and highly controversial show, So I Suppose This Is Offensive Now? This year he presents a double-hander with Aboriginal Australian comedian and journalist Craig Quartermaine with a provocative examination of interracial politics.
The germ of the show comes from a story of how this pair first met, an otherwise innocuous encounter that nevertheless forced Burns to confront his issues with white guilt. The two comedians present wildly different facets: Burns is still a fervent ball of barely contained rage and excitement, while Quartermaine is a more considered, laid-back and calming performer (with a nice line in occasionally emulating his effervescent friend). It's enjoyable to see them flit back and forth, particularly when they approach the same stories from differing points of view, although they do go slightly too far in their efforts to shake off the feeling that much of their seemingly off-the-cuff repartee is in fact scripted.
Quartermaine is particularly impressive; while the duo share a curious chemistry, there are times when Burns might give his compatriot a little more time in the spotlight before jumping in. Rounding things off with a thought-provoking ending, Race Off is an interesting show that's a little rough around the edges.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 28 Aug, 6.45pm, £12–£13 (£11–£12).