Adam Hess and Rhys James share a lot of things, a flat, a love of comedy and an endearing love of pranking. Tonight I’m at the wonderful invisible dot on a balmy summer night for their final previews before the month long comedy beast that is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016.
Up first is the fresh-faced Rhys James, a cool and collected comic with a natural confidence that defies his age. He’s 25. I know, so unfair! It’s easy for cynics to label him pretentious but they’re most likely secretly jealous that someone so young and charismatic is also so gifted. His jokes are slick and almost every one of them lands – even new material he was testing on us. Besides writing finely crafted jokes he also has an amazing knack for poetry which gives his show and his performance an extra level that other comics can only dream of. James is unashamedly proud of his middle class beginnings but can equally poke fun at it. He loves being what he describes as a professional d***head… this guy. This is a slick hour of great jokes all told with a self-aware cheekiness that really makes you chuckle. My favourite part had to be the letters he wrote to himself when he was 10 where he berates his younger naive self and the letter he writes to himself 15 years from now concerned at the state of ‘’old James’’; a skilled performer, poet and master of the English language. If you’re going to Edinburgh this year make you sure you get to this show before it’s an arena-sized affair. Rhys is at the Pleasance Courtyard at 16:45 daily.
Next up is Adam Hess. wow. This is one of the most intense hours of comedy I’ve ever seen! In a good way, mind. Winner of the chortle student awards back in 2011 and nominated for the Edinburgh best newcomer award last year, he is rapidly winning over audiences with his fast-paced and self-deprecating style of comedy. He is by his own definition extremely socially awkward and a bit rubbish at life which is something we can all relate to, to some degree. He lets us into his sometimes pained world with an openness and honesty that if he wasn’t so genuine it would come across as contrived if performed by anyone else. I had to rewatch his recent show to remind myself off the content as his machine fire musings often went off into tangents that whilst very funny, had me scratching my head to figure out where we were in the joke. That’s not a criticism by the way it’s just how his brain works. Like a freestyle comedy jazz man hitting all the right notes. If I make it to Edinburgh these two funny, charming pranksters are top of my list of gigs to see and hopefully have a pint with! Adam is performing Feathers at the Heroes @ The Hive venue at 16:10 daily.
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