Comedy review: Fred Cooke: Fred Space, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Edinburgh

With his goofy loser shtick, Fred Cooke was handed stand-up’s golden ticket of being asked to participate in Dancing With The Stars, Ireland’s version of Strictly Come Dancing.

Fred Cooke: Fred Space, Gilded Balloon Patter House (Venue 24)

Fred Cooke: Fred Space, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Edinburgh * * *

Never the most svelte performer, the musical comic gets good gas, and a wry jab at fellow comic Seann Walsh, by blithely overplaying his own attractiveness. Kept late into the competition by the Irish public’s perverse desire to keep the clown contestant in, he nevertheless experienced a degree of backlash online, his sad-sack vulnerability further preyed on by elements closer to home. Still, he’s not been put off the fame game and went to extreme lengths to secure Tom Jones’ attention. Funny on the perils of WhatsApp content leaking into the outside world, he doesn’t open his musical account convincingly with a so-so, rather bog-standard tune about social ineptness. Playfully undermining his own snobbery about Oasis’ Wonderwall, prior to that he also conceives a rascally scenario of the song becoming a factor in a paramilitary hostage situation.

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Patchy and inconsistent, Cooke nevertheless alights on some sporadic hilarity and powers through with his bearish amiability, even when he’s crowing about the mess of Brexit.

Until 26 August

Jay Richardson