Nathan Mosher Is Injured | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
review star review star review star review blank star review blank star

Nathan Mosher Is Injured

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Not so much stand-up comedy as stand-up trauma, Nathan Mosher’s Edinburgh debut tells of his lowest time, suicidally depressed and struggling with bipolar disorder after the break-up of an intense relationship.

It’s a serious story, and once he gets his teeth into it, one which he makes little attempt to leaven. Earnest, moving songs and a heartfelt poem punctuate the reflective monologue about his time in the psych ward and the fragility of his mental health.

That it is so sombre is slightly surprising as ‘LA comedian’ defines his personality, living and breathing that scene. He unhealthily frets about how his career is going compared to other comics, while the ex at the heart of his breakup story was also a comedian – and they’d converse via their respective sets.

It also means that in the more stand-uppy segments at the start of the show, the gags feel too polished, the sort of thing a comedian would say, rather than feeling natural, and the result can sound glib.

When the personable Filipino-American abandons his over-practised jokes, the story feels more heartfelt, drawing the audience in the more it deviates from comedy. There are moments of mordant humour when he was in his lowest place, but the wit is grim.

One bit of advice he was given on the road to recovery – achieve via meds, friends, the church and more – was ‘don’t laugh away the pain’, which probably explains his straight approach to his story.

Even post-Nanette– in which Hannah Gadsby gave American comedians the idea comedy shows could have gravitas – it’s hard to consider Nathan Mosher is Injured a comedy show in any meaningful sense, despite its place in that section of the Fringe programme. But as an affecting monologue about one man’s qualified emergence from the lowest of the low, it’s seriously compelling.

• Nathan Mosher Is Injured is at C Aquila at 6.05pm

Review date: 10 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: C Aquila

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.