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Taking The Piff
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Tim Fitzhigham: Gambler
2011 show trailer
|More Tim Fitzhigham: Gambler videos|
True spirit of the fringe, multi-award winning, Perrier nominated comedian, author, explorer, Fullmooners co-thing and air recycler Tim FitzHigham is back in a show about the 10 greatest bets in history. A man known for his bad ideas, now Tim tackles the world’s weirdest wagers. See the results here.
Tim Fitzhigham: Gambler
If Tim Fitzhigham didn’t exist, Jules Verne would probably have invented him.
He has always had an air of being slightly out of his time. You can easily picture him as an aristocratic 18th Century gentleman of leisure, taking on ludicrous challenges just to win wagers with the chaps at his Pall Mall club.
And with The Gambler, he has fully embraced that idea; plunging into the archives of such establishments to recreate some of the most preposterous bets in history, the most famous of which is the man vs horse race – to see who triumphs over a 100-yard sprint.
But the more intriguing are far less straightforward. Could he, for example, make the trip from London to Dover and back, under his own steam, before his friend Alex Horne, a similarly obsessive comedian, could make a million dots on a piece of paper?
Plenty of comedians take on a task for their shows, but Fitzhigham has plunged into half a dozen or so, as he rolls cheese boards, shoves wheelbarrows and yanks ropes all to try to prove points that never really needed proving. And my, has he suffered for it, picking up all manner of strange and gruesome injuries en route. His recklessness to his own safety is of course, greatly humorous to the rest of us living vicariously through his exertions.
And that’s the joy of this show; that Fitzhigham utterly immerses himself into the tasks, making him a brilliantly compelling, fired-up guide through the fascinating if obscure subject of historic proposition bets.
He is a bone fide loveable eccentric – who else, when stumped, would put ‘knight errant’ as his occupation on their daughter’s birth certificate? – and the very embodiment of gung-ho enthusiasm. His goggle-eyed passion verges on a mania, which is surely what spurred him on to these challenges in the first place, but it’s all expertly channeled for our entertainment. And he’s so genuine, you can’t help but be swept up in the delights of his adventure.
The show twists and turns, and is so densely packed with incident that the pace, like Fitzhigham’s fervor, never flags. And my, is it funny – mainly from the sheer, audacious ridiculousness of the endeavour, which Fitzhigham happily acknowledges. His own foolhardiness is the biggest joke of the show.
Is this one of the most exhilarating story shows on the Fringe? You bet.
|Date of live review: Tuesday 16th Aug, '11|
Review by Steve Bennett
One of the best shows we saw at the fringe this year.
Tim FitzHigham: Untitled
In the Bath - Infinite FitzHigham 2004
Infinite FitzHigham 2003: Monkeys Do Boats
Infinite Something and The Third Monkey
Infinite Number of Monkeys
Infinite Number Of Monkeys Do Gravity
Tim FitzHigham: The Man Who Discovered the Kama Sutra
Tim FitzHigham: The Bard's Fool
Tim Fitzhigham: Gentleman Adventurer
The Adventurers Club - The Great Arctic Caper
Flanders And Swann 
Tim Fitzhigham: Stop The Pigeon
Tim FitzHigham: Challenger