Adam Hess: My Grandad Has A Fringe | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
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Adam Hess: My Grandad Has A Fringe

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

At one point in My Grandad Has A Fringe, Adam Hess does a more-than serviceable impression of Michael McIntyre. Which is apt, as some of the material could easily fit into the observational supremo’s set, too, even if Hess delivers it with his typical hyperactive mania that makes Mcintyre’s trademark skip look like a geriatric stroll.

As he strives to show how we are all just as foolish and ridiculous as each other, Hess details some very precise examples of odd behaviour that we are all guilty of, from unsaid train etiquette to the noise we make while searching for an email during a phone conversation, to the rituals men follow if they encounter each other in the toilet.

For a comedian who made his name for eccentric one-liners, it’s surprisingly mainstream stuff, exceptionally well-observed. He also gets a little personal for once, revealing a bit about himself and especially his odd mother (this apple did not fall far from the branch) – a woman who’s devised her own contraption to save shelling out on bifocal lenses. She could be out of the letters pages of Viz.

Hess’s absurdity still gets an outing, mind, primarily through an hilarious PowerPoint-based icebreaker, including some brilliantly doctored video footage. His gag rate is always impressive, but never more than in the hectic first quarter-hour.

The whole show is all sold with his 400-word-a-minute delivery and his unflagging Tiggerish energy, bouncing and leaping around the stage saying: ‘Look at me! Adore me!’ And I don’t mean figuratively – he literally urges the audience to give him their full attention, even stealing a glance at your partner is verboten, since that’s a painful reminder of his singledom. 

On which point, Hess shares a tale of a bad date that further underlines his idiocy. That’s reinforced when he tells of a prank gone wrong – something of a staple story for many a twentysomething flat-sharing male comedian, but you have to admire Hess’s commitment to the cause and laugh at the predicament he left himself in. ‘Why did I do that?’ is a constant refrain in his stories, and none of us are ever the wiser.

With these tales and his observational comedy this is Hess’s most accessible show yet, without compromising his quirkiness. He even allows the audience just a slither of breathing room after the frenetic, enthusiastic chaos he unleashes from the moment he vaults on to the stage. It’s a rush of comic energy that’s certain to sweep you along.

Review date: 20 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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