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Published on Saturday, 20 August 2011

4 stars

Base Nightclub
6-27 Aug, 8:45pm-9:45pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

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

Funt is one of those Edinburgh Fringe shows that you just wander into, slightly bewildered, because a nice looking man with a flyer caught you at the right moment. With a plum venue opposite the entrance to the Underbelly on Cowgate, there’s plenty of passing comedy fans to be ensnared. If I’m making it sound like this is a gig to approach with trepidation, it is fully intentional.

And that's purely because this show is hosted by dapper dandy Chris Dangerfield, the Flashman of stand up. I knew what to expect, but I’m not sure what the front row made of him as he climbed on the chairs, viciously insulted everyone and then launched into his usual repellent, do-you-dare-laugh spiel. Don’t misunderstand me, I love Dangerfield; he’s got something special and his charisma was bouncing off the mirrored walls, but I think he probably plays best with a room that is braced and ready for him.

The first act he brought on was Alex Hawley, who seemed as shell-shocked by Dangerfield as the front row. He soon got into his stride with some nice solid material, but he did seem a little uncomfortable throughout is act.

The other guest was strangely surreal Tim Shishodia. Somewhat in the vein of, say, Milton Jones, he produced a raft of off-the-wall oneliners. He was a great comic with some inspired material, although the audience didn’t seem willing to relax and go with it.

This was a show with violent mood-swings. All three comics were great and worth catching, but the range of styles never really gelled. Nevertheless, if you can stand the gear changes, this is a thoroughly entertaining show.

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