Larry Dean: Bampot | Edinburgh Fringe review by Stephanie Lim © Steve Ullathorne
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Larry Dean: Bampot

Edinburgh Fringe review by Stephanie Lim

On a scale of one to radge, Larry Dean falls squarely between Jackie Bird and Begbie; both eloquent and unpredictable, benevolent yet cocksure - he’s the perfect measure of a winsome ‘Bampot’. In other words, he’s a national treasure.

While his delivery is more ‘Scottish’ than original recipe Irn-Bru, his premise is resoundingly universal. It’s the age-old story of a long-distance relationship and the heartbreaking reality that, more often than not, romantic longevity and global proximity are directly proportional.

Having changed the show’s original format to account for his recent break-up, Dean exhibits a palpably raw sincerity which creates an emotive counterpoint to some of his cruder material – it’s blue comedy in every respect. 

Not that the hour is without levity; his anecdotal style is punctuated with spirited characterisations and he’ll blindside the audience with a hard-hitting punchline, even when the subject reads as comically barren.

From his intimate accounts of child therapy to his knife-wielding confrontations, there isn’t a topic he can’t broach with unabashed wit.

His narrative is less of an arc than it is a Venn diagram; ‘childhood’ on the left, ‘relationship’ on the right and their shared central intersection, Toy Story. Not just because his upbringing and ex are portrayed as incredibly animated, but - more significantly - due to Dean’s projection of their mutual conclusion: as we mature, we grow less consumed by the objects of our past affections… nevertheless, nostalgia endures. 

His closing gambit ties together his seemingly disparate yarns - a climactic revelation that will reduce you to tears while simultaneously restoring your faith in humanity. 

A poignant story expressed by an innately gifted and multi-faceted performer. 

Review date: 9 Aug 2018
Reviewed by: Stephanie Lim
Reviewed at: Assembly Roxy

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