Viggo Venn: British Comedian | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Viggo Venn: British Comedian

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Two months on, and Viggo Venn still can’t quite believe he won Britain’s Got Talent with his nonsense. The hi-vis jacket has become such a trademark look that it’s inspired cosplayers, with more than half a dozen fans wearing them to the gig. And when *that* Daft Punk song fires up, the place goes wild.

That the crowd are so fired up to play along lubricates the high-energy mucking about that the Norwegian clown so joyously instigates. One man in fluorescent yellow became a back-up dancer, a drowning man and groom across three sketches. In many shows, the to-and-fro negotiations of a performer trying to get a reluctant punter on stage can be funny, but when they leap up enthusiastically, a far more exuberant spirit fills the room.

Venn starts with a brilliant visual switcheroo gag, before recruiting a couple of audience members to wordlessly recreate his parents’ divorce, apparently the instigating moment that created the silly attention seeker who cavorts among us today. And if any punter is not paying him quite the heed he demands - ‘wa-hay’ing at an inappropriate moment, for example – brief exile in the sin bin outside awaits.

A skit that involves cutting up a line of ‘coke’ might not have been the sort of mime ever to make it to prime-time ITV, but it’s included here. And acting out the ‘why did the chicken cross the road?’ gag craves more of our indulgence than the joke is worth, but it’s part of his stated aim for this show – and yes, there was one – to be accepted as a genuine British comedian.

Thus we hear his stand-up routine – ‘all filler, no killer’, he bills it, with typical humility – including the obligatory knob gag. He should almost certainly stick to the clowning.

Venn’s at his most gloriously entertaining when the routines have no greater meaning– including those he performed on BGT: The One More Time celebrations, hiding in a giant plastic ball, or sampling audience members saying their names so he can drop them into Eminem’s My Name Is, and hastily improvise a personality for them based only on their tone of voice. It demonstrates an impressively quick and creative wit.

The more narrative scenes – to use the adjective lightly - provide texture – but it’s the sheer nonsense  that makes the hour so euphoric.

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Review date: 22 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Monkey Barrel Comedy Club

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