EDINBURGH REVIEW!: Chris McCausland – Big Time

**** Big Time; Chris McCausland

Great show, proper stand up, honest straightforward and balls-out funny, Chris McCausland has nailed this year’s Edinburgh show.

He’s disarmingly honest about the catch-all title and poster design, which he had to dream up months before he a notion of what the show is about. Because it’s a festival show he’s tacked on a message bit, but it’s so tongue-in-cheek (nature of time, blah blah) that it doesn’t impede your enjoyment of some rattling good storytelling and punchy comedy.

By being so open about how a show is cobbled together – and he’s not the only one to do it ­– he has you onside immediately. He talks about what he thinks he’s supposed to do (have a high concept) but, in fact, this is just excellent stand-up without gimmicks.

He covers some pretty old standards of Scouse stereotyping, fundamental differences between men and women which show up in relationships, middle class and working class lifestyles how Brits struggle in the heat, like a bargain and a beer, but it’s all got a fresh and personal twist on it.

He deploys the full range of snappy short jokes and has a glorious bit of storytelling about a gallery bedroom where his eloquence and phrasing are a total pleasure, reminiscent of Gerard Hoffnung or Bob Newhart, if you’ve ever listened to your parents’ old vinyl or a Radio Four clip show.

This was an hour of real belly-laughs for me.

Date of live review: Wednesday 10th Aug, '11 Review by Julia Chamberlain

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