FRINGE REVIEW – Adam Hills, Mess Around


10 – 29 Aug, (not 16) 1900 (2000) hrs  @ Assembly Rainy Hall

BSL interpreted performances Sundays.

Adam Hills is a master of observational comedy, but this year sees him return to Edinburgh for an entire run with no script – or so we’re led to believe.   Adam claims he just wants to ad-lib and ‘mess around’.

A packed (and rather hot) venue warmly welcomed Adam onto the stage and he proceeded to banter with whoever he wanted, all of which were willing and handing him material on a plate.  On stage, was also his sign interpreter Catherine who has worked with him for years and this was her first time signing his ad-libbed show. The audience shouted out words they wanted to see signed which led to Adam being handed an absolute gift when 10 year old Lenny took centre stage and stole the show.

The following 20 minutes were filled with improvised material involving this young lad, but Adam’s job was made easy for him, such was the comedy genius of this young visitor from Bristol.  At one stage, Adam took £20 out of his own wallet to pay the boy’s father to enable the 10 year old to use the f-word as he recreated a joke.  The audience would have happily watched Lenny for the full hour, but Adam brought his section to an end with an interesting ventriloquist sketch.

A little more random audience participation followed, but there was a large chunk of material that was obviously written and rehearsed regarding his meeting the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance –  and more importantly –  Lady Ga Ga.   All of the material was extremely funny due to his impressions and comedic timing, all of which had the crowd roaring with laughter.  The underlying theme of this year’s show is that Adam prefers everyday people over celebrities.  Even little stuffed toys called Honker, who he is trying to make more famous than nonentity Shiloh Jolie-Pitt.

Each night’s events obviously vary to a certain extent – and this show was nothing short of hilarious.  Adam Hills is so good at ad-libbing, that any evening would guarantee you leaving with the feel-good factor and wishing Adam was in your circle of friends.

Extra information

Also included in the show, is Adam trying to raise money for Edinburgh Sick Kids with the help of his friend Honker.  You can find more about his new pal in this article.

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