A whimsical and surreal-ish debut without much biography to hang onto
If there's anything that Josh Pugh proves with his debut hour, it's that a quaint semi-surrealism is alive and well. While notions of the truth have become more hard and fast in recent stand-up times, A Boy Named Pugh shows that a little bit of silliness can go a long way. There are subtle touches of James Acaster-like whimsy around the current English Comedian of the Year's first full-hour as he tries to take the room's temperature for our favourite type of naan bread, gets the name of Bob Dylan songs deliberately wrong and appears to mix up jokes.
All the while, this show is part of his attempt to get his life story made into a film. Then again, will he keep his stage moniker for that biopic or change it back to his real name of Johnny Showbiz? A picture is hopefully emerging of the keen nonsense Pugh is leading us through which, in the main, works like a dream. His printed-out spreadsheet which aims to match celebs with the ideal social engagement doesn't always fly (it may well depend each night on the audience member he corrals into this task) and his reluctance to shed much light on his own life might leave some crowds a little cold.
Pleasance Courtyard, run ended.