Review for 5th August.
Bumper day of Free Fringing with six shows. Stand-out of the day was definitely Luke Benson, saw him as part of the showcase Sy+ (Espionage, Pravda @ 14.30) and was so impressed went to see his solo show downstairs immediately afterwards (Mata Hari @ 15.45). Luke is tall – very tall (six foot, seven) – and a Geordie, both facts providing instant comic material which he uses to break the ice with, but Luke is far too professional and talented to get stuck in any comedy cul-de-sacs. From priceless descriptions of bumping into old acquaintances back home (‘Still doing that comedy lark, are you?’) to a vivid depiction of having to face a rabid all-female crowd as a male-stripper-troupe warm-up; ending up with a couple of assured set-pieces which have a touch of the surreal about them. One is a flight of fancy re what his dream house would be, weaving in asides about school-day bullies and a clever joke about a ‘Walken-cupboard’ – cue a terrific impression. Luke is hugely talented, immensely likeable with a stack of material that’s original, inventive… and funny. What’s not to like? Go see him!