So skilled an actor, and so nuanced a writer is Will Adamsdale that you are never quite sure where the line between stand-up and character comedy lies
Will Adamsdale: Facetime, Underbelly - Bristo Square, Edinburgh * * * *
He plays with that line. Many performers do but, possibly because Adamsdale doesn’t ‘gig’ and so there is no way of getting a handle on the ‘real’ Will Adamsdale, you are left, in the dark, watching this diffident man – one minute all middle-class apologies and the next reminding you repeatedly that he DID win the Perrier Award … some … years ago – talk about the tricky problems he is experiencing with his three-year-old son.
This is not usually the stuff of comedy. And it is not handled in the usual comedy way. But it is painfully hilarious. The laughs are made up of tiny mundanities like ride-on mowers, West Wing and Postman Pat alongside Adamsdale’s apparent ability to curse people, his downward spiralling career (even though he won the Perrier once) and his desperate attempts to have a positive relationship with his son.
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We get songs (don’t expect to sing along) and we even get Jackson (you must of heard of him … he won the Perrier once upon a time). But most of all we get hugely entertaining existential angst from a man who gets so many laughs from the fact that he feels his life is falling apart that you have to hope, for the sake of comedy audiences everywhere, that he never gets it together.
This onstage Will is a fascinating, funny/sad creation, with a heart-stirring rallying cry at the end. This is another captivating show from a comic craftsman of whom we see too little. And it was a delight to see Jackson again. As he – and all who follow him would say – achieved!
Until 25 August.