Edinburgh Review: Rhod Gilbert

Rhod Gilbert has made name for himself as a wickedly funny ranter at life’s minutiae, but his new show is more of a squeak, says Julian Hall.

Rhod_Gilbert1There can be no greater comedic challenge than following up a truly inspired show with another barnstormer twelve months later and to be fair to Rhod Gilbert he tries his hardest to do just that.

Unfortunately, while last year’s If.Comedy-nominated show took the audience on an inspired neurotic journey, Rhod’s show this year is much more erratic. The narrative thread that keeps this year’s show together is more tenuous and while the Welsh comedian’s energy can lift a concept above the chasm of disbelief, that has to clear to be entertaining but you can feel the force of gravity at work.

Washing machines, hoovers and fruit smoothies all have it in for the moody Gilbert in this show, but the bluster he manufactures against, for example the range of vacuum cleaners on offer, can run out of puff as quickly as it blows up again.

As much as Gilbert’s landscape of mock anger and pain is almost rendered seamless by callbacks, it’s a rugged terrain for comedy in parts. While the Fawltyesque adventures of last year were a romp Gilbert’s rant reprisal is more of a squeak home this year.
Three stars

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