It might sound blunt, but the “Dead Dad” show, so beloved of Fringe comedians in recent years, is dead.
Star rating: ***
Venue: Just the Tonic at The Community Project (Venue 27)
Or at least, severely on the wane. Comics have moved on to pastures new – this year, everyone’s got to make at least a passing reference to Brexit – which leaves the Dead Dad field wide open for other performers to explore.
James Rowland’s Team Viking isn’t actually a Dead Dad show – it just uses the funeral of James’s father, right at the top of the show, to explore his friendship with best pals Tom and Sarah.
Inseparable since childhood, their relationship originally formed around re-enactments of the 1958 Kirk Douglas vehicle The Vikings. Following James’s dad’s death, they make a drunken pact that, whenever one of them has to go, they’ll have a Viking send-off. And then, sooner than expected, one of them has to go.
It’s a funny, intimate show, punctuated by Rowland’s a capella music breaks, which get looped together to form a slightly cacophonous jingle at the end – fewer layers would be an improvement. Music aside, the charming and open Rowland barely puts a foot wrong, though his playful, teasing final line does undermine the emotional weight of what’s gone before.
Until 28 August. Today 2:55pm.