Occupying the territory left by the late, single-focus US comic John Pinette, Bart Freebairn is all about food.
Bart Freebairn: Maximum Delicious, Just The Tonic @ The Caves, Edinburgh * * *
Wryly chuckling but confident in his own skin, the well-built Australian complains of losing his excitement in the world. Still, he's delightfully epicurious, approaching it with his napkin tucked. To his eyes, the full English breakfast is a broader reflection of Brexit, the humble hot cross bun prompting some brilliant domestic observational material and ruminations on Easter. Astute on the relationship between dogs and their owners, he's absurdly ambitious in terms of the contraband he'll sneak into a cinema and finds another persuasive description of the UK in the ingredients of brown sauce.
More body-positive and yet darker than the self-effacing Pinette ever was, Freebairn spends enough time at the gym to find solid perspective and material. And he's stoutly contrarian in his appreciation of junk food, with a monstrous, Mr Hyde-style growl whenever he imagines himself succumbing to his baser appetites. Contriving to share his experience as a larger man entertaining the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, he closes on a return to religion, via Catholicism's weird relationship with biscuits. Maybe it's all a bit throwaway. Nevertheless, this is a fine debut and Freebairn is a welcome late lunch companion.
Until 25 August