Flashes of brilliance before it descends into hack
Ed Gamble has a lot of jokes but is still some way short of a decent routine. A fresh-faced, imaginative 20-something, Gamble has a slick patter that sustains his debut solo hour despite some up-and-down material.
Gamble – who could pass for a young Richard Bacon – is not afraid to experiment. In fact, some of his best lines comes from the obscure and the quixotic, such as when he describes his metamorphosis from obesity to the svelte chap of today, some five stone-lighter.
He paints a picture of his newly shrunken body in candid terms with his sagging skin described as “a pair of dungarees made out of myself”. But, having weaved some striking images, he then falls back on a tired section in which he discusses his “food addiction” and how it made him so huge initially.
This is a shame because Gamble is an assured performer. He is better known as one half of Peacock and Gamble, whose podcasts have made regular appearances in the top 10 of the iTunes charts, and is likely to be around for years to come.
And he has several good passages, from gently mocking the demographics of Durham University students, to recounting his awkwardness at being the odd-man-out among a group of 30 people on an archetypal lads’ holiday.
But Gamble doesn’t quite cut it. One of his extended riffs is on the hack subject of him suffering incontinence, and the fact that he chooses to end on a long run of willy jokes is deeply frustrating. Despite some flashes of brilliant humour, this section just puts him in a long queue of young middle-class men who know how to make the audience cringe at the tales of disasters in their underpants. Despite the high-tech title, Gambletron 5000 is not yet in full working order.
** Review written by Peter Edwards