Tom Parry: Parryoke! | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
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Tom Parry: Parryoke!

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

If you translate Tom Parry’s name into French it comes out as Joie De Vivre. 

Or it should, for the man just beams positivity. He’s the life and soul of every party; the guest at every wedding disco who’s the first to whip his tie off and wear it around his head. How do we know this? Because such contagious shedding of inhibitions to have unalloyed fun is at the very heart of Parryoake.

He knows his way around an evening-do dancefloor by now, having attended an impressive ten wedding in the past year (including one that featured a Swedish chef… but sadly not the Muppet one). His life has gone from music festivals to best man speeches, cannabis to canapes. 

And, of course, he’s still having a blast. Parry is the one man who’d be immune to Marie Kondo’s decluttering tips because for him everything sparks joy. He admires the same spirit in others, too, with a fantastic showbiz anecdote about Shane Ritchie doing something utterly bizarre entirely for his own entertainment.

Other examples of where he finds his simple pleasures include childhood games of British Bulldog and the karaoke suggested by the title. Choosing the right track to sing along to is crucial of course – providing one of several running jokes that give pattern to the knockabout hour. Another is the notion that the whole show is set in the 1990s to excuse his hilariously outdated reference points.

There are plenty of throwaway lines that are funny, too, with the comic doing especially fine work in spreading the genuine gender-neuter collective name for nieces and nephew: niblings. Isn’t that adorable?

Parry, who came to Fringe prominence via sketch group Pappy’s, is directing several other comedians’ shows this Fringe – and he certainly has a keen eye for structure. 

That includes the almost-obligatory heartfelt bit to stir the soul, before giving payback to most of his strands as he winds towards a typically upbeat conclusion to send the crowd away happy. For if you don’t emerge from a Tom Parry show without a broad smile on your face, you need to lay off the Botox.

Review date: 19 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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