Rebels Without Applause | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
review star review star review half star review blank star review blank star

Rebels Without Applause

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Two out of three ain’t bad. That’s the hit rate for this new act showcase, once you take their relative inexperience into account.

Headliner Luke Terry is probably the closest to the finished product. He’s been a freelance journalist so has a nose for good use of language and an ability to tell a story briskly. That said, his CV boasts a period writing Buzzfeed-style listicles, so you can understand why he wanted to move into stand-up.

Incidentally, if there was a list of 15 Comics You Won’t Believe Look Like A Younger Kelsey Grammer, he’d be on it – and he has a great ice-breaker about the stern Germanic humour that his appearance might suggest he’d peddle.

It’s a set that’s packed with jokes - a bit hit-and-miss, admittedly, but at a forgiving pace. He only really eases back when he reads some extracts from some sexual memoirs he was employed to copy-edit, which are cringe-inducing, but he probably over-hypes quite how awful they are.

Opener Johnnie Smith looks as if he’s got a permanent scowl on his face. But actually he’s quite a self-deprecating American, happy to overshare frank home truths, especially about relationships, that rarely make him look good.

Stand-up seems to be a filter for his shame – which is a winning attitude – while he has a decent trade in one-liners, only occasionally slipping into a dud like his tired gag about the Welsh being sheep-shaggers. Again, there's promise here.

Ed Thorn is one of those very new rookies who hasn’t yet got any sort of compass for where to find the funny, with dull punchline-free anecdotes that mean something to him, but can’t make us care.

His best line is about what he looks like (and it's true, he does look like he could pass as a Tory politician), but his besuited appearance is a poor fit for stories about being high or drunk, delivered nervously. Fifteen minutes is definitely a stretch at this point in his career, and seems more about getting him stage time than entertaining us.

• Rebels Without Applause is at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House at 9.30pm tonight

Review date: 20 Aug 2021
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Laughing Horse @ The Counting House

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.