Comedy review: Harry and Chris: This One's for the Aliens, Underbelly - Cowgate, Edinburgh

Harry and Chris: This One's for the Aliens. Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)
Harry and Chris: This One's for the Aliens. Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)
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Representing, shouting out to the rest of the universe, comedy-rap-jazz duo Harry and Chris have their act locked down so tight that even their failures are turned to triumphs.

Harry and Chris: This One's for the Aliens, Underbelly - Cowgate, Edinburgh * * * *

Having previously scaled the heights of separate, incidental appearances on Songs of Praise, accomplished slam poet Harry Baker and his best friend, intuitive jazz noodler Chris Read, have declared themselves publicists for planet Earth, their apocalyptic opening track followed by a brief recap of their origins and résumé of their careers, serving up advice for any extra-terrestrials tempted to visit.

Burgeoning their cult, they play a game with the crowd, asking them guess which statements of embarrassing fact applies to which of them, before soliciting suggestions for phenomenon to rap about. A test of Baker's sublime improvisational prowess, it's nevertheless one he throws to Read too, the pair endearingly corpsing as the rhymes grow ever more contrived. With Baker showcasing a dizzying tongue twister, so good that they've stuck it on a t-shirt, they rein in their ambitions and simply try to endear Brexit Britain to the rest of the continent, with their genuine Eurovision Song Contest tilt, Sorry, featuring a plea for forgiveness in a variety of languages.

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Elsewhere, they recount their doomed efforts to convince America that they're aliens of extraordinary ability. And they segue delightfully from an impossibly catchy number about what unites all humanity into Read's beautifully heartfelt tribute to his newborn son, introducing him to the world. Even in a comedy show, such a touching number earns its inclusion on affecting, songwriting merit alone. Yet they wittily reprise it with a twist. Wrapping everything up nicely with a medley, this infectiously fun, dazzling creative show ought to linger long with you through sheer hummability alone.

Until 24 August

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