Edinburgh Festival review – Bo Burnham

In Bo Burnham, teen angst has never sounded so good, says Julian Hall.

Bo_Burnham1He’s the wunderkind of musical comedy rising from YouTube fame to be part of the Judd Apatow comedy clique.

Nineteen-year-old comedy sensation Bo Burnham lives up to the hype tonight as his awkward charm casts a spell over his audience. It’s as if we are watching an anxious teen roam about his room, furtively trying to entertain himself either with his clever compositions about, for example ,church-going, a collection of haikus or his pseudo-philosophical one-liners. In amusing himself, of course, we can but follow.

Apologising for lulls when there are none, Burnham ups his feeling of disquiet, a sentiment that is ever-present in his songs that touch on poverty and inequity and assert that art has no clue how much it costs, something other performers would do well to muse on.

All this disenchantment turns to entertainment though, filtered through a jaded palate mature beyond its years, and teen angst has never sounded so good either in rap or ragtime form.

While physically Burnham looks his tender age his mind is leaps and bounds ahead of comics twice his age so it is no wonder that he prefers the label of “prodigy” to “young comic”.

Five stars
Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words is on at 9.35pm at the Pleasance Dome, click here for booking.

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