Comic Cuts

David Trent. Picture: Comp
David Trent. Picture: Comp
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Your round up of all the Fringe funnies.

Simon Munnery baffles us with science

WHILE the fairly simple character of stand-up doesn’t really lend itself to the technological advances prevalent in other forms of entertainment, there are still a number of acts attempting to redress that imbalance in their own, inimitable ways.

Last year, Simon Munnery (The Stand, 3.40pm, until August 26, * * * *) delivered one of the quirkiest, most genre-defying ‘stand-up’ sets at the Fringe, essentially creating ‘live’ film featuring home-made animations and odd scribblings and his new effort follows on in much the same vein. Part of the attraction is that it’s charmingly ramshackle, with many of the laughs derived from either the working of the set-up itself or the rough and ready – but ingenious – nature of his designs.

It’s a little frustrating that he hasn’t quite realised the potential of this unique format in the intervening period and shaped something more cohesive, it’s but it’s still delightfully daft stuff from one of Britain’s most inventive comedians.

David Trent, star of the comedy screen

Like Munnery, David Trent (Pleasance Dome, 10.45pm, until August 25, * * *) has also stuck with the (albeit very different) projection screen-based style that saw last year’s debut garner much acclaim.

Like a potty-mouthed, shoutier version of Charlie Brooker’s TV show Screenwipe, rubbish ad campaigns

bear the brunt of

his ire, treated to a humorously merciless dissection.

If it doesn’t quite scale the heights of its previous incarnation, it’s perhaps

that the topic seems

too easy a target, which makes some of the resulting jokes fairly obvious. Slick, neat but not overly professional, the interactive element of his slides, stills and video still works well, though, it’s just the format – and his intelligence - might ultimately be better suited to something weighter.

Catch Aczel on video

Video also features heavily in Edward Aczel’s (Underbelly Cowgate, 6.10pm until August 25, * * *) routine, although it tends to serve as a counterpoint rather than the main focus. One of the country’s leading proponents of ‘Anti-comedy’, Aczel doesn’t tell any actual jokes. Instead he plays on comedy’s penchant for introspective analysis, embarking on an over-analytical search for meaning that only succeeds in removing all the humour, which, of course, is the joke in itself. It’s a wonderfully deadpan performance, from his complete inability to banter and build rapport with the audience, to the list of topics that (thankfully) didn’t make the final cut for inclusion.