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Come Hell Or High Water This Sick World Will Know I Was Here
Published on Wednesday, 17 August 2011
4

4 stars

Laughing Horse @ Jekyll & Hyde (venue website)
Comedy
13-28 Aug, 12:35pm-1:35pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 18+ only. Venue may not permit under-18's - check with venue before booking.

Gregory Akerman wants to be famous. He doesn’t know why, but he has chosen to pursue stand up comedy for this purpose and, he claims, every other comedian is doing the same. They all just want to be famous too. He might be right; he certainly has a heartfelt case.

Akerman has some nice offbeat jokes, and a soft-spoken delivery that draws you in. You don’t want to miss a thing. He also has some excellent set pieces: one about Europe and Asia wishing a fond farewell to their pal Africa at the gates of grief, and another about a couple of hapless office workers attempting to dial 999. He does that Eddie Izzard trick of writing a sketch and then reworking it as a piece of stand up. It works very well; Akerman has just the right kind of understated delivery to make this engaging. And the sketches are good, which also helps.

Akerman is also very much a disciple of another famous comic. It’s clear in the way he draws out each joke way past the point at which it stops being funny, the drags it through to the place where his doggedness makes it funny again. It’s also in his laconic, not-bothered style and his scathing disdain for anything more popular than himself.

That’s not a criticism. In fact, it’s a bonus. Stewart Lee has been sold out since before the festival began, so if you can’t get your hands on one of Edinburgh’s hottest tickets, you could do worse than to try Gregory Akerman instead.

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