Edinburgh Fringe 2000 (59)
Edinburgh Fringe 2001 (316)
Edinburgh Fringe 2002 (354)
Edinburgh Fringe 2003 (376)
Edinburgh Fringe 2004 (422)
Edinburgh Fringe 2005 (415)Edinburgh Fringe 2006 (547)
Edinburgh Fringe 2007 (668)
Edinburgh Fringe 2008 (733)
Edinburgh Fringe 2009 (773)
Edinburgh Fringe 2010 (927)
Edinburgh Fringe 2011 (963)
Edinburgh Fringe 2012 (1022)
Edinburgh Fringe 2013 (687)
Melbourne 2005 (26)
Melbourne 2006 (29)
Melbourne 2007 (31)
Melbourne 2008 (36)
Melbourne 2009 (36)
Melbourne 2010 (56)
Melbourne 2011 (36)
Melbourne 2012 (46)
Melbourne 2013 (57)
Misc live shows (203)
Montreal 2004 (6)
Montreal 2006 (10)
Montreal 2007 (15)
Montreal 2008 (17)
Montreal 2009 (17)
West End run (14)
See Less »
Howard Read: 2005 Comeback Special
Howard’s career has been dogged by the constant success of his non-stand-up activities. He was furious when his animations won various awards, a Perrier nomination, trips to New York, Aspen and Melbourne and an appearance on The Tonight Show. At last he’s back with his first love, stand-up comedy.
This is the comedy equivalent of Mike Yarwood going: ‘And this is me…’
After several years of playing second fiddle to his own animated creation, Howard Read has decided the time is right to reassert himself as a stand-up in his own right, with a back-to-basics ‘unplugged’ performance
His usual circuit set is full of overpowering energy directed at the most stupid of topics, including his infamous sinagalongs about exotic vegetables. Such high-powered shenanigans would, however, prove a little overwhelming in the dank Underbelly of an early evening.
So, instead Read has decided to go down the path of the traditional, observational comedian talking of his own experiences. After all, as he says, ‘there just aren’t enough self-obsessed comedians on the Fringe’.
It’s not, he admits, a style he finds easy, coming from a stable and repressed middle-class family, not accustomed to discussing their feelings. Read is nothing if not aware of his own failings, as proven by the commentary he often provides as to how he feels the gig is progressing.
Truth is, Read is much stronger as a cheesy gagsmith than an eloquent raconteur, and it’s the one-liners that pepper the stories, however tenuously, that provide more laughs than the tales themselves.
You feel he’s aware of that, and that this is the first steps in the new direction he wants to take his comedy rather than the end of the journey. As the show progresses, he starts shedding the silliness that is his forte, initially for some fairly generic moans such as the state of the railways, before easing into gradually more weighty topics such as the nature of nationalism, a friend’s funeral and the break-in which robbed him of £7,000 worth of computer kit.
None of this is taken too seriously, mind. Even though he does have a good old rant about those few things that do get his goat, they are always iced with a layer of flippancy to sweeten the deal.
Stylistically, he’s now between the two stools of gags and observation. It remains a spirited performance, although now with some focus, and the gags, though daft as always, can be attached to a story, so giving a semblance of structure.
Read is always entertaining company, and this show is no exception. It’s solidly amusing, rather than memorable, but does at least prove he can cut it without the cute, roughly-drawn sidekick.
No comments are currently available for this show.
The Adventures Of Bitter & Twisted
Little Howard and Big Howard: At Home With The How
The Big Howard and Little Howard Show
Howard Read: Words And Pictures
Big Value Comedy Show... Late
Robin Ince's Christmas Book Club 2006
Howard Read: Light, Shade, Lemonade
Little Howard And The Magic Pencil Of Life And Death
Little Howard's Big Show
Howard Read: Hide and Speak