FRINGE REVIEW – James Campbell’s Comedy 4 Kids

*****

By the Mulvihill family review team

James Campbell has been entertaining children for 18 years and he really knows what he’s about. For an hour he takes to the stage of Assembly’s Elegance in George Square Gardens with a comedy set designed just for little people (with a few side-jokes for the parents) and has everyone present in fits of giggles. He is a consummate professional: even when the power fails half way through his act, Campbell takes it in his stride with a witty quip before continuing on regardless.

With so much stand-up on the Fringe it’s refreshing to see someone take into account a younger audience. Campbell displays a wonderful understanding of the interests and sense of humour of children, with topics ranging from scooters to babies and, of course, no kids’ comedy show would be complete without jokes about poo and wee. He speaks to the crowd, finding out names and ages, but is sensitive to both shyness and overconfidence in members of his audience. With occasional Eddie Izzard-esque funny voices James Campbell supports his dialogue with some hilarious gesticulations and facial expressions. Perhaps a clue as to how he understands kids so well is is the way he uses his own childhood recollections as part of his act. Maybe the secret lies in that the best way to be is just to not let yourself grow up too much.

It may be a cliché but there really is something in this show for all the family. At no point does James Campbell belittle or patronise his audience, instead you get the impression he talks to everyone on the same level, regardless of age. Just like the title says: this is comedy for kids (but you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it).

What the Kids Say: Great. I liked the jokes about lollipop ladies and hedgehogs. Really funny.

Until 12th August, Assembly George Square, 14:00 (1hr)

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