Fringe review: Chris Fitchew in Jack of All Trades

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WITH huge energy and verve, this enjoyably daft hour is a memorable calling card for Chris Fitchew’s chameleonic talent and total commitment as a character act.

Chris Fitchew in Jack of All Trades

Gilded Balloon (Venue 14)

* * *

Opening less than promisingly with camp, in-your-face wedding planner Derique, he yet exudes sufficient charm to encourage audience members to get involved in his excitable preparations. A laddish, Only Way Is Essex wannabe is similarly familiar and fitfully amusing. But all is not as it seems. And from here on in, this is a show that, for all its sporadic unevenness, is a pulsating, flamboyant ride that just gets better and better.

Fitchew’s most consistent creation, a Scottish metrosexual body builder named Maximuscles is perfectly realised and entertains in a succession of scenarios rolled out on video during costume changes.

Fitchew is undeniably buff, lending the Creatine-pumped himbo credibility. Yet suddenly he’s a twisted caricature of Dragon’s Den’s Hilary Devey. Once again, what impresses is not the idea but the execution.

His most surreal offering, the childlike Mr Colours is carried off with a delightful final flourish. And from a bitchy Skype exchange, he audaciously spins a diamond-celebrating duet of celebrity divas, before turning the sketch on its head, elevating Hollywood gossip to an all-singing, all-dancing moment of star affirmation. His failure to modify a video from the Brighton Fringe for Edinburgh clunks a bit, but that’s a minor quibble for this striking show.