Edinburgh Review: The Lunchtime Club

Ben Clover says some of the young comics who make up The Lunchtime Club will turn into good comics, one of them is already there.

David_Morgan112.30pm is the school lunch hour, an apt time for comedy from five comics only fairly recently out of short trousers.

And like any school gang, the quintet taking the stage at the time most Edinburgh’s comedians are still indulging their hangovers are a mixed bunch.

David Morgan compered likeably and had confidence enough to get from A to B. But he had very few jokes, less than he had spikes in his hair. And too few certainly to justify the assurance he conjured. He started some material on being forced to play for a dyslexic football team but stopped before doing anything with it. Odd.

Ben Partridge was the first act proper and also has a fairly winning engagement with the crowd – despite rambling, discursive material that’s low on punchlines. With a manner like a genuinely Welsh Mark Watson he sauntered through a set with a confidence that belied the low gag rate. Odd, because he leaves on a clever, short joke that suggests he can write them.

Best of the bunch was Alfie Brown. Although dressed like an extra from Pirates of the Caribbean his spiky observations and jaded delivery marked him out from the rest. His whiff of university drama soc might put some audiences off but there was a real flair to some of his segments that made that mostly bearable.

And uniquely on this bill he actually filled his slot with material rather than erratically engaging with the crowd. He should do more of the buttons up on his frilly shirt though, unless he really does think of himself as a romantic poet trapped in the 21st century.

Student Ivo Graham was the youngest on the bill but suffered from the same cockiness as his classmates, meaning he wasn’t as focused as someone on the third day of their run should have been. But he was better at improvising than the others and the gags he did deign to deliver were strong. Must try harder though.

Last up was Joe Lycett, and not the strongest on the bill. Starting with some weak-ish bits he only really got going with some excellent impressions at the end. But by then it was too late, a bit underpowered, but interesting how far to see the shadow of Paul Foot has fallen across the comedy landscape.

Lycett’s delivery and downward whipping motion during rants echoed those of the funny-haired funnyman eerily.

Some of these five will turn into good comics with a bit of work and one’s already there.

But they nearly all had the air of relaxed masters easing through some new stuff at a new material night than people with anything to prove. Catch them before they take law conversion courses.
Two stars
The Lunchtime Club is on at the Tron until August 30 (except August 17, 24). For tickets click here


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