Edinburgh Review: Alun Cochrane

An hour with Alun Cochrane is an unpretentious joy, full of sublime phrasing and flights of fancy, writes Paul Fleckney.

alun_cochrane1There is barely a whiff of ‘Edinburgh show’ about Alun Cochrane’s Daydreamer. Whereas most comics construct a bespoke hour of material around a specific theme, this is more like a top-quality 60-minute circuit gig.

It’s got the audience banter, the local material to kick things off, a range of themes including circuit standards such as parenthood, and being at the Stand III it is also physically detached from the rest of the festival.

The very loose thread about Cochrane’s lack of focus could just as easily not be there. It gives him the license to go through a range of everyman routines, on Nando’s, his sex life, his child, buying crisps in pubs. He has a favourite hob ring. He mentions Ivan Lendl. This is Cochrane’s world. It teeters on the edge of being hack at times, but with such sublime phrasing, like an updated Alan Bennett, it’s a delight.

All the comedy-in-mundanity makes his flights of fancy all the more effective, and he unpretentiously draws little attention to it. A more cynical comic would take his brilliant ideas on how to make snooker more interesting, call themselves a surrealist and make like they are from another planet.

The 2004 Perrier Award Newcomer nominee admits that he is unambitious and his hasn’t evolved an awful lot, but then he started a quality act and remains so. Much of this show is comedy gold, and even if he doesn’t always wear his 1970s Coventry City away kit-esque shirt, make sure this is on your list.
Four stars
Daydreamer is on until August 30 at 10:50pm at the Stand III. Click here for tickets

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