Tom Toal in Mediocre Boy, Just The Tonic @ Marlin's Wynd, Edinburgh * * *
Thus informed, I genuinely enjoy an hour of a fond father talking about his daughter. There is a lot of this 'bring your kids to work' going around Edinburgh. Toal happens to be the kind of affable, articulate chap that makes tales of bedtimes and school gates charmingly entertaining.
He has had problems with writer's block and is plagued with self doubt, he loses his wedding ring and is too easily aroused by Elaine Martin and her sleep tapes, and he shares it all with us, in this sweet, personal hour. I do not know whether this is the breakthrough show that smashing the writer's block, but if it is it explains the very personal nature of the material. He is writing about what he loves most. His daughter.
We do get a few memories of working in a butcher's shop with dodgy Andy and facing up to armed guards in Disneyland, but mainly we hear about life with Elsa. The young lady closes the show onscreen in a spirited interpretation of Pharrel Williams' Don't Worry, Be Happy. You get the distinct feeling they both will be and that is better than any number of stars.
Until 25 August