Al Porter in Campus Maximus
- Brian Donaldson
- 25 August 2017
True stardom awaits as the innuendos and insults flow freely
Despite having so much foundation on his face that he closely resembles the murderous ventriloquist dummy from Dead of Night, it's abundantly clear that there's no one working Al Porter. The young Irishman (he's 24 going on someone in middle age) is very much his own man even though you can join most of the dots of his influences (there are shades in there of Kenneth Williams, Graham Norton and Dave Allen for three) as he dishes out barbed insults to his backing singers, pianist, security staff, and anyone he fancies catching the eye of in his front rows.
Having emerged from virtually nowhere at last year's Fringe to earn himself a spot on the Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist, Porter is as guaranteed major stardom as it's possible to be. But the elements that will grease that success are the things which don't quite fly so well in a Fringe context. The smutty gags and dirt-cheap innuendos are, to be kind, vintage fare but there's no denying his gift with keeping a target audience glued to his sinewy frame and anticipating the next dodgy reference.
But even this well-dressed throwback can't resist having a pop at the year's satirical whipping folk of Trump and Brexit, with the latter nicely encapsulated in the closing all-singing, all-marching number, 'In the Tories' (to the tune of 'In the Navy').
Having moved in 12 short months from the Cabaret Bar to the Cow Barn (Porter notes with amusement that this doesn't exactly sound like an upgrade), you can't imagine him gracing us annually with his comic presence as bigger bounties away from Edinburgh are set to roll his way.
Underbelly Med Quad, until 27 Aug, 6.45pm, £12–£14 (£11–£13).