Comedy review: Chris Forbes: Tall Needy Mutant

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Chris Forbes says he didn’t want to do the comic’s cliché of producing a theme show but after a few minutes, you realise that’s exactly what he’s done.

Star rating: ****

Venue: Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

The star of BBC sitcom Scot Squad leads us gently into his trap, chatting to a few members of the audience about who they are, where they’re from… the usual stuff. He uses these few minutes to segue into talking about himself, how one day he decided to ask friends of Facebook to describe him in one word.

This, of course, is the sort of thing no one in the history of the world who isn’t a comedian preparing a Fringe show has ever done. Still, it’s forgiveable, as Forbes seems a lovely chap and he uses the replies given to talk about what the words mean, how they relate to himself – yes, it’s a bit me, me, me but he’s upfront with that, putting “needy” right there in the title of the show. As for “tall,” that’s self-evident – Forbes isn’t a short soul, having, he tells us, sprouted up overnight at the age of eight, “like Tom Hanks in Big”. Mutant? That was a pal taking the piss – he got a lot of that.

He didn’t get that from girlfriend Eleanor, who isn’t at the show – or if she is, she’s hiding at the back – but is a constant presence. He’s a middle-class lad from Scotland, she’s English and a bit posh,and they love each other to bits. Not in a sickly way, but in a weird way. Deeply weird. I can’t get into it. Really.

So yes, Chris Forbes is one more comic standing in the Teviot’s Wee Room/sauna with a flipchart. But he’s brilliant company – honest, insightful, very funny… and impossible to describe in a single word.

Until 29 August. Tomorrow 7pm.

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