Great Scots: 2000 Years of Scottish History in 55
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2002
History is lots of fun, even if it is unintentional. Join Prof. Benji Ming's class and you are guaranteed to laugh as much as you'll learn.
Two millennia of Scottish history in 55.5 minutes sounds like it's going to be some sort of Reduced Shakespeare-style roller-coaster comedy through the centuries.
Instead, it's a fairly straightforward lecture, light-hearted but never really funny, hosted by a lively, wide-eyed enthusiast with the energy of a children's entertainer and the hair of one of the whackier Dr Whos.
In fact, this family-friendly show might have been better listed in the kids' section of the programme than the comedy one, as it certainly seems aimed at the younger fringe-goer.
Our host, Professor Benji Ming uses a home-made Regressotron gizmo to take himself back to different periods in Scotland's history, from a 1974 Bay City Rollers concert to an early Pict.
These fictionalised encounters are very well performed - he holds your attention even when the material doesn't, which is frequently.
It's a fun way of imparting information, but the bottom line is that it's just not funny.
If you're after an entertaining education about Scotland's history, you might be better off going on one of Edinburgh's fabulous walking tours.