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Review by Eleanor Ovens
Heavy metal music, side-splitting stories and bassoon playing brilliance, Ed Gamble’s Mammoth tour promises all of this and certainly does not disappoint. The self-proclaimed public school ‘posh boy’ is an Edinburgh Fringe Festival veteran, (having performed there for the last ten years), and definitely knows how to entertain a crowd or two. His impressive stage presence and unique story-telling ability both captivated and enthralled the Newcastle audience, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. From farting masseuse incidents to being rejected from the metal-head scene, Gamble’s outrageously funny material is nothing less than comedy gold.
His interaction with the audience, with all who attended under his line of fire, produced a sociable and intimate environment which put all at ease. Gamble delivered numerous jokes at the expense of a certain unlucky few. One man, for instance, was selected from the crowd for failing to clap enthusiastically enough during Gamble’s dramatic, metal-inspired entrance, then becoming the butt of Gamble’s jokes for the remainder of the show. His quick-humour and witty responses provided spectators with unlimited laughs.
Gamble’s relatable and down-right hilarious tales, such as the inexhaustible shedding of his girlfriend’s hair and the trials of attending spinning classes with ‘yummy mummies’, rarely fail to hit the mark. He has an enchanting way with words and his stories seamlessly flowed into one another.
However, Gamble’s well-rehearsed gags and polished routines occasionally seemed just that. Often, you were given the impression that these stories, although comical in their own right, had been told and retold thousands of times. Whereas the more improvised content, Gamble’s flair, was not exploited nearly enough. It was his off-the-cuff, unplanned remarks which sent the audience into head-banging fits of laughter. It is obvious that Gamble has a real talent for producing off-the-bat, witty remarks which offended but most certainly amused. Hopefully, Gamble’s skills in improvisation will be more cleverly tapped into in future shows.
Nevertheless, Gamble orchestrated a performance which left very few unamused. His middle-class, posh boy image was the brunt of multiple gags. From his love of halloumi to his failure to enter the death metal scene, Gamble came across as a sort of Jack Whitehall apprentice, happily using his privileged upbringing as the butt of several jokes. The paramount of ‘poshness’, however, was left until the end of the show wherein Gamble brought out his childhood bassoon, performing a painfully long rendition of three blind mice, demonstrating to the audience why Gamble’s musical career was so short-lived. The performance was a perfectly hilarious and unique end to the show.
A master of interaction and comedy, Gamble’s shows will promise a smile to all who attend. Although a name not commonly recognised within the stand-up arena, Gamble’s natural flare in oration and comedic timing promise a show inundated with laughs. His self-deprecating, unfiltered sense of humour provides a fresh voice within the stand-up community. Therefore, it would be safe to assume that Gamble is well on route to becoming a household name and comedic star, but definitely not a professional bassoon player.