Comedy review: Stuart McPherson: Mr November, Monkey Barrel Comedy, Edinburgh

Self-effacing to a very Scottish degree, in this consistently funny debut Stuart McPherson speaks enviously of the vocational certainty of his late grandfather, a man who knew he wanted to build ships and dedicated himself to it.

Stuart McPherson: Mr November, Monkey Barrel Comedy (Venue 515)
Stuart McPherson: Mr November, Monkey Barrel Comedy (Venue 515)

Stuart McPherson: Mr November, Monkey Barrel Comedy * * *

There are no such certainties for the insecure 26-year-old, who speaks drolly about his current job working in a knock-off Harry Potter-themed escape room down the road from his venue. And his previous employ in a baked potato selling concession in Glasgow's Central Station, a business model so ludicrous that he rinses it for a good 10 minutes. From his girlfriend and mother's well-meaning but unhelpful attempts to burnish his confidence, to his childhood fear of Dr Harold Shipman and the shaky realities of the property market, he's a young man beset by fear, his horizons flattening all the time.

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At least he can channel his fecklessness into solid stand-up, his reliance upon takeaways mined for the amusing visual image of him being out-exercised by his order. A routine about a rich friend's toxic behaviour never really develops. And a whimsical, Z-list celebrity strand feels like a botched compromise, even with the full story laid out. Despite his pessimism though, McPherson has youth on his side and all the basic attributes to be a top comic.

JAY RICHARDSON

Until 25 August