Skip to content

FringeGuru

 
Totally Tom
Published on Saturday, 01 September 2012
5

5 stars (Critic's Choice)

Underbelly, Bristo Square (venue website)
Comedy
1-12, 14-27 Aug, 6:40pm-7:40pm
Reviewed by Andy Frain

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

I could try to explain the plot of this hour-long show I from Totally Tom, but it would be a futile attempt. The story does follow a plot strand, but veers off wildly in all directions. Thankfully, it is an absolute joy to watch it do so.

In summary, it tells the tale of a prisoner who escapes – using two obnoxious journalists, a prison talent show involving a murderous magician, and a ‘Papa Roach’ concert (it is acknowledged that Papa Roach haven’t performed together since 1998, for all you die-hards). The show excels not in its grand pieces, but in its little snippets of humour; be they a genius’s uncontrollable muttering of ‘insightful thoughts’ (such as ‘3 x 8 is 24’), or a brilliantly bizarre electric chair dance routine to ‘Aqua’.

It’s rare for a show to actually be laugh-a-minute, but this is nearer 10-laughs-a-minute, with a gag rate at ‘Naked Gun’ levels. These aren’t just throwaway cheap jokes either, they’re all intelligently thought out, and pretty brilliant.

The show favours a younger audience, with the pop culture references likely to go over the head of anyone over 40 (although I did spot a woman of pensionable age visibly appreciating a reference to the new Batman film).  But aside from that, it’s pretty easy to enjoy. Just sit back and watch two men lose all sense of reality, and occasionally adopt American accents for no real reason.

It’s too late for this one this Fringe, but if you get a chance to catch it elsewhere, I strongly recommend it to you. I’ve seen numerous shows this year and this stands out as the best. These guys are about to get massive – but until then, grab any chance you get to enjoy two of the finest performers the Fringe has seen this year.

Macbeth >>

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.

Edinburgh 2012 Five Stars

5 stars Comedy
Totally Tom


5 stars Comedy
The Magical Adventures of Pete Heat


5 stars Theatre
Bye Bye World


5 stars Comedy
Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers


5 stars Comedy
Truth


5 stars Theatre
The House of Shadows


5 stars Cabaret
Briefs


5 stars Theatre
Made for Each Other - Free


5 stars Comedy
Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive


5 stars Comedy
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams


5 stars Comedy
Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff


5 stars Comedy
The Blanks' Big Break


5 stars Theatre
A Clockwork Orange


5 stars Comedy
Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble


5 stars Comedy
Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday


5 stars Theatre
1984


5 stars Comedy
Swedenborg, the Devil and Me


5 stars Theatre
The Trench


5 stars Theatre
Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


5 stars Theatre
Joyced!


5 stars Theatre
An Evening With Dementia


5 stars Comedy
Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna


5 stars Theatre
Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke


5 stars Comedy
Chris Ramsey: Feeling Lucky


5 stars Comedy
The Horne Section - Live at the Grand!


5 stars Theatre
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found


5 stars Theatre
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle


5 stars Theatre
Songs of Lear


5 stars Cabaret
Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man


5 stars Comedy
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure


5 stars Comedy
10 Films With My Dad


5 stars Theatre
4.48 Psychosis


5 stars Theatre
As You Like It


5 stars Theatre
Appointment With The Wicker Man


5 stars Comedy
Jessie Cave: Bookworm


5 stars Comedy
Morgan & West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels


5 stars Theatre
Hearts on Fire


5 stars Theatre
Rainbow


5 stars Comedy
Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist


5 stars Comedy
Chris McCausland: Not Blind Enough


5 stars Theatre
Chatroom


5 stars Comedy
Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway


5 stars Theatre
I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You


5 stars Comedy
John Robertson - The Dark Room - Free


5 stars Kids'
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger