Josh Glanc, Monkey Barrel, Edinburgh * * * *
It twists and turns and draws you in and before you have time to join in any of the old favourites Josh belts out or give it a bit of Macarena, you are heart deep in some unbelievable and incredibly personal stories about Josh and his mum, who looms large over the show, metaphorically and, through the medium of papier mache, literally.
He plays with borders and boundaries – between love and hate, performance and reality, trying hard and trying too hard – and it is absolutely gripping. The whole of this show is, by some comedy alchemy, ten times the sum of its parts. While each part is ridiculously entertaining in its own way (apart from the Gaulier bit where he just stares at the audience, I really hated that), the beauty is in the combination. Cheesy songs, schtick about being Jewish, ridiculous talking jerry cans, plastic penises and Super Mario from the 'performing' Josh sit alongside stories from his childhood that culminate in the most jawdropping tale of mendacious chickens coming home to roost that you will ever hear.
There are surprises and revelations around ever corner in this show and Joshua's judicious editing of pretty much all the songs is most welcome. Apart from a fiery tiff with his sound tech (I wonder if it will happen when you see the show ?) 'performing' Josh keeps things glitzy but ooooooo, the dark underbelly of this show is gorgeous.
Until 25 August