Comedy review: Richard Todd, Monsters

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Some comics have a gift of words that touches their work with wonder. Richard Todd is such a comic.

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Venue 170)

****

Richard has monsters in his head. He is on antidepressants now so they are, he tells us, pretty much locked up in secure rooms in his mind. Although he can sometimes still hear them shouting.

This is, you might have gathered, not a happy show. It is a painfully funny show. Luckily for you, the audience, Richard gets the pain and you get the funny. This is a man who hears the individual hands of his five-strong first day audience clapping at the top of the show and likens the sound to that of the bodies of two embittered lovers coming together in an attempt at an ultimately loveless orgasm. How can you fail to warm to a comic whose mind works like that ? He describes his younger self as a “feeble” child and a “whelp”. He talks of happiness as “a box of kazoos and a frisky gerbil”.

These examples might seem small things, but in a world of dull comics droning, Richard Todd is like finding The Fall guesting on X-Factor. His hour is a torrent of personal disaster from a childhood freezer stabbing and a haircut related gang attack. through his whispering, deliquent bottom, his obsession with Henry the Hoover and the best way to run a bath, to his overbite.

Richard and his monsters make for a powerful hour of tragi-comedy. Take your own monsters along. They will love it.

Until 27 August. Today 1pm.