A CULT favourite at the Fringe, even before he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2011, Adam Riches is touring his singular brand of intense, invasive audience participation and inspired nonsense for the first time, with a solid bank of tried and tested stupidity to draw upon.
The Adam Riches Experience, The Stand, Glasgow ****
His command of the marks he pulls out of the crowd is, in part, borne from the overblown machismo of most of his characters. These ridiculous, blowhard buffoons include a swaggering Gerard Butler running a sniper school, a none-more-Northern portrayal of Sean Bean and a Yakult-addicted DVD piracy officer Victor Legit, his obsolescence due to the passing of time and technology only making him funnier.
Notwithstanding the couple who leave in the interval after being drawn into the sexual web of his Spanish swingball champion Pedro Azul, and a mature gentleman whose grimaces suggest that his health might not withstand Bean’s demands, Riches is adept at choosing his “volunteers” and even more skilled at coaxing performances out of them. With his own debasement and invasion of personal space as an example, his sketches have the fail-safe of being just as entertaining whether the audience members follow his instructions or go rogue. For the uninitiated and confirmed fans alike, Riches remains a unique experience. He’s perhaps even more of a wildcard in a comedy club environment too, so take this opportunity to engage with an improv master.