Edinburgh Festival review – Ray Green

Stand-up Dave Gibson is another excellent debutant at this year’s Fringe, as he introduces well meaning TV personality-turned-comic Ray Green.

Ray_Green1Like some sort of time-travelling, daytime TV personality from more innocent times, Ray Green is here to bring a smile to everyone’s face with some gloriously uncynical comedy.

Moustahioed Preston-ite Green is the creation of Dave Gibson, and has turned to comedy after years of work in TV. Ray Green’s Adventures in Tellyland looks back over this illustrious career that included low-budget quiz show Futureheads, Ray Green’s Fucking Mental Boozers and a sexercise video, while all the time hoping to create an award-winning comedy show. As a result you spend rather a lot of time watching footage on a TV, which would be flagged up as lazy were it nor for the fact the videos are really funny. Particularly of note are the Ali G-esque audacity of hapless crime fighter Green Ray, the period touches and gentle racism of Futureheads and the showbiz-lite intro video.

The show is dripping in irony and Gibson has plenty of juicy ideas, giving him fertile soil for comedy; but there are a fair few cheap shots as well – how hilarious things used to be in the past, how backward the north is and there’s a Downfall parody probably a year too late. But he pulls it off through boundless charisma and great gags, making you forgive the more unoriginal aspects of what is otherwise an original concept for a show.

Gibson succeeds in portraying a tragic, slightly bitter, Alan Partridge-like TV figure failing to fulfill his ambitions as a stand-up comedian. The pathos doesn’t quite hit home, but it’s fantastic watching the routines get increasingly more proposterous (including a bizarre puppetry set, and a torch song about his ambitions, with a hilarious reluctant rap crowbarred in the middle); bad but good at the same time, which is difficult territory to tread in comedy. It shows Gibson to be a hugely talented comic and performer and I really look forward to what will come next.

Four stars
Ray Green’s Adventures in Tellyland 3D is on at 3.15pm, click here for booking.

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