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Ivo Graham and Liam Williams
Published on Friday, 24 August 2012
5

5 stars

Laughing Horse @ Captain Taylor's Coffee House (venue website)
Comedy
4-12, 14-26 Aug, 12:00pm-12:59pm
Reviewed by Natasha Frost

 Free and unticketed. No pre-booking required.
 Recommended for age 14+ only.

In truth, this is half a review. On the day that I came to see this free show, in the somewhat sterile basement of Captain Taylor's Coffee House, two fairly important things happened: firstly, tautologically named Liam Williams was ill, and secondly, I was five minutes late. The former pushed Ivo Graham firmly into the spotlight for the entirety of the hour-long spot, and the latter ensured that I was publicly named and shamed ('the late blonde'), much to the amusement of everyone else who had managed to be on time.

This should, then, not only be half a review, but also a somewhat chastened half-revew (or should that be revi?). However, Graham managed to stretch his thirty minutes of material over an hour-long show in such a way that the afternoon's performance was not only a complete one, but also an absolutely excellent one, and some of the most enjoyable stand-up I had the pleasure to see in the Fringe. Furthermore, Graham plays into a taste for comedy that is clean, and gentle, and just really very nice to spend time with. This abject niceness - for Graham possesses a rare capacity to be not only almost outrageously charming, but in a way that makes you want to be his bestest best friend, in lieu of finding him slimy or obsequious - meant that his chiding of my lateness was seamlessly integrated into his material, not cruel in the slightest, and frankly, a delight.

The basic premise of the show is a walk-through Graham’s romantic history since 2004, with visual aids to provide mathematical support. This coming-of-age comedy is perhaps not a new concept, but performed in a way that is fresh and likeable, not to mention being exceptionally funny.

These are early days for Graham, though I hear that his recent signing to Off the Kerb shows true investment in what will doubtless prove to be extremely marketable talent. Their description of his 'gauche charm' massively undersells the fluency and sophistication of his stand-up. Graham is a delight to watch, and someone who is bound to go very, very far. If the absent Williams is any match for him, this free show is absolutely not to be missed.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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