Tim Fitzhigham – Edinburgh Festival review

Comedy adventurer (and EiF blogger!) Tim Fitzhigham’s new show is a rollicking good ride. Thank God. Things would’ve got awkward otherwise.

Simon_Munnery5Tim Fitzhigham has been injecting derring-do and a spirit of adventure into the Fringe for more than a decade now. He gets through more capers than a pizza chef whoonly makes a marinara. Last year he was taking on the 10 most ridiculous bets known to man, and it’s from that well that this year’s show has sprung. Fitzhigham became obsessed by a bet made by William Douglas, the 4th Duke of Queensbury, in the mid-18th century, that a “missive” could not travel 50 miles in one hour. That’s a written message to you and I.

Fitzhigham has breathed life into this bet by recreating it with comic Alex Horne, who is his nemesis in this show, foiling him at every turn. Every time Fitzhigham thinks he has cracked it, Horne points out a technicality and disqualifies him. Damn you Horne (shaky fisty)!

As you can probably tell this is no ordinary comedy show. Fitzhigham doesn’t do them. He’s more like a project comedy, like Horne or Dave Gorman, only coming from the eccentric semi-aristocrat angle (he has the upturned collar and RP of a posh boy).

He has a snuffbox’s-worth of jokes, but the comedy here mainly comes from the storytelling, propelled by his infectious enthusiasm. It’s a half-full room (room? the Pleasance Courtyard Green is more like a Michelin man’s testicle, says Fitzhigham) but he jollies us along to share his moments of triumph and dejection.

Along the way he drops in little history lessons as well – such as the role of the pigeon in the worlds wars, and the real reason why the Duke of Queensbury never married.

These sorts of capers are normally dreamed up and confined to the smoky walls of gentlemen’s clubs. Fitzhigham does it for our (and his) considerable please, and what a rollicking good ride it is.

4 stars
• Tim Fitzhigham – Stop the Pigeon is on at 7.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard
Review written by Paul Fleckney

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