Ivo Graham: My Future, My Clutter | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Ivo Graham: My Future, My Clutter

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

A lot has happened in Ivo Graham’s life since 2019, and his retelling of the highs and lows reap rich rewards in this consistently funny, warm-hearted show, with the kind of beautifully crafted turns of phrase we have come to expect from this rising star. 

On the surface, the show’s subject matter – getting through the last three years and its impact on family and relationships – sounds generic, but in Graham’s extremely capable hands, it’s anything but. From the bleakness of performing Zoom gigs for freshers to finding the right Covid small-talk with his barber, it’s the precision of the writing and the minutiae of the detail that elevates the material.

Graham talks a lot about his family in this show, most notably an extended section on Peppa Pig World (acknowledging along the way how Boris stole his thunder). Again it’s the little details, the descriptions and frustrations that delight. His focus on family also looks backwards, as he frequently returns to his childhood, with short stories penned by a young Ivo acting as chapter breaks within the show.

Mindful of checking his privilege, much of the show is undercut with throwaway lines and example after example of his daily struggle to do the right thing. Meanwhile, Graham’s ongoing aspiration to be as liberal as possible is nicely illustrated with stories of product boycotts, tying himself up in knots with the inherent contradictions.

Graham’s Etonian past and everyman present constantly challenges him, but he pulls off the seemingly impossible trick of being both high status and highly relatable at the same time to a warm and appreciative audience.

A final anecdote involving The Eagles underlined Graham’s ability to paint a vivid picture through precision writing that proves he is doing much more than taking it easy. Ending with a superb closing punchline, this was an hour of fine material by a performer ever-growing in confidence as he reconnects with a real-life audience.

Ivo Graham: My Future, My Clutter is on at Pleasance Courtyard at 7.30pm

Review date: 19 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Matt Carwardine-Palmer
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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