Comedy review: Ben Pope: Dancing Bear, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

At a time of destabilising tribal politics pitting everyone against each another, Ben Pope has identified the true division in society – between the punctual and the routinely late, like himself.

Ben Pope: Dancing Bear, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

Ben Pope: Dancing Bear, Pleasance Courtyard ***

False starting the show in his bedwear, the feckless 26-year-old affects incredulity and revulsion at early risers and pre-packers of lunches, his immediately welcoming persona and puppyish likeability not confounding the impression that he’s an absolute liability to know personally.

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Hosting ghost tours, flogging spoilt rich kids drones and pursuing alumni for charitable donations for his private school have all insidiously, prematurely corroded his soul.

Yet he’s an astute enough observer to have prised the noteworthy ridiculousness out of them before he quit or was sacked.

The rise of automation makes the future of work pertinent to everyone, which he essentially glosses over, capably raising instead the grim spectre of personal debt by involving everyone in the room. Consistently funny and deceptively thoughtful.

JAY RICHARDSON

Until 25 August