Mark Dean Quinn: Is This Enough | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Mark Dean Quinn: Is This Enough

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

With Spank! no more and Late N Live getting earlier and tamer, the weirdos have reclaimed super-late nights at the Fringe. Julia Masli has just added two weeks of 1.30am shows, the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society has three-hour shows at midnight most weekdays, and Bedlam Theatre has been running a curated series of one-off oddball nights kicking off at half midnight.

Fitting right alongside them is Mark Dean Quinn, whose highly original show – starting at 1.50am – sits between performance art and comedy. But while that might sound pretentious, he is entirely unprecious about it, leaving the door of his Free Fringe venue open to encourage people of the night to wander in.

Those who do so are rarely quiet, you may be shocked to learn. Tonight it was the entire bar crew of a nearby venue, good-natured but slightly lubricated and incessantly chatty. They would have derailed a more delicate show, but Quinn invites them in. He only really has a couple of jokes in Is This Enough, and they are resilient to disruption.

The first is that he has lost his voice, so delivers his lines on cue cards, like Bob Dylan or Andrew Lincoln in Love Actually, depending on your vintage. Each time someone new wanders in, he goes back to the start, building up an in-joke for those who have been there from the start.

But the main thing he does in this show is eat cheese. A kilogram of the stuff. Every night of the festival. Except the 13th. There’s a solid, quirky gag to set this off, but it’s the repetitive, ‘is he really doing this?’, nature of the stunt that keeps you – and even the gobbier audience members – enthralled. He plays with the futile, Sisyphean inevitability of his fate to excellent effect.

Quinn says his show is designed for those latecomers, locals who might want to let off a bit of steam after working gruelling shifts serving Fringe-goers. They wouldn’t be made to feel welcome in any other show, but they are here.

Those who complain the Fringe has become too corporate aren’t looking in the right place, for this is surely the quintessential oddball festival experience, under the radar, uncommercial and done for no other reason than having an idea and committing to it. At whatever cost to Quinn’s colon.

Review date: 22 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: PBH's Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth

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