Patrick Monahan has stories to tell.
Patrick Monahan, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh ***
Stories of his socially-conscious Iranian mum and his ever-scavenging Irish dad, of fleeing Iran and coming to live in Redcar, and of living in a caravan parked far below even Middlesborough's poverty line. After warming us up with some throwaway stuff about bouncers at MacDonalds and 24 hour gyms, he gets stuck into an hour, across which, he mixes and contrasts reminiscences with stories of his current relationship with a partner whose family don't say toilet and have original Lucian Freuds in their drawing room.
It is a lovely thing to get to know a bit about Pat without the manic hugging and audience safaris that have generally characterised his work. I could have taken a little more effort with the arc of the hour – it all felt a little random and scattergun like a collection of vignettes purporting to be a movie. However, his approach means there is still a propper, autobiographical hour to come and I for one am looking forward to it. But, for this year, he is an honest to goodness storyteller and a terrific comic. His characterisations are a joy and his overwhelming warmth make this a truly delightful hour.
Until 25 August