Larry Dean: Fudnut | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Larry Dean: Fudnut

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

At the start of this award-nominated show, Larry Dean demonstrates how even the bleakest material can sound cheery if given the right soundtrack. Well, he’s the comedy equivalent of the jaunty disco banger, providing an upbeat, jaunty spin to topics such as despair, grief, loneliness – and the terrifying prospect he might have to see out the next few decades languishing in an Abu Dhabi jail.

The story of him being caught in the notoriously unforgiving emirate with CBD oil – deemed an illegal drug there – is the throughline for the hour. Or rather it isn’t, because Dean keeps stopping the story before he properly gets into it. It’s meant as an insight into his restless mind, but it’s infuriating rather than endearing.

Luckily the Glaswegian does divert into some entertaining stories, such as his now-ex’s peculiar reaction to the comic farting in bed, recollections of a gig in front of homophobic audience, and tales about his therapy – plus a splendid joke about anal lube.

It’s all performed with the cheeky charm that celebrates silly joy and knocks the edge off any dark moments. Dean virtually does a victory lap of the stage after turning one story into a dick joke. He’s engaging, candid and likeable, with an endearing energy and a strong line in characterisations and act-outs, especially his vocal mimicry (his Kevin Bridges is a stand-out) that draws audiences into his confidence. And he does finally get around to finishing that Abu Dhabi story.

And in its latter stages, Fudnut pivots to be an affecting tribute to a figure comedy insiders will know well – and who gets the well-deserved last laugh of Dean’s most personal show to date.

Review date: 29 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Monkey Barrel Comedy Club

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