If the BBC is looking for a new panel game, any execs up for the coming TV festival could do worse than check out Night At The Museum.
Star rating: ****
Venue: Gilded Balloon at the Museum (Venue 64)
The format is fiendishly simple – New Zealand Fringe favourite Jarred Christmas plays curator to a bunch of exhibits which guest comics have to describe. We don’t have the actual items in the National Museum of Scotland’s lecture theatre, what with them being fragile, valuable and often just darn big, but we do get nice screenshots. And what comic doesn’t love to play with a laser pen pointer?
And you don’t half get a clever audience, the type who know that the proper name for the atom smasher is the Cockcroft-Walton generator. Tonight’s “professor experts” Suzi Ruffell, Damian Clark and Brennan Reece don’t necessarily know this, but they do know how to riff on an intriguing picture. So we learn that the name of the Michelin man in early advertising artwork is Mitch; the giant deer skeleton died when grandma sat on the antlers, the Lewis chessmen were an early rap crew...
It’s all very, very silly, hugely enjoyable and a great way to get a taste of comedians with their own shows around the city. Ruffell, Reece and Clark are all amiable teachers, with Clark the standout with his surreal leaps of illogic. And Christmas is a superb host, pushing his pals into ever weirder directions and thoroughly engaging the audience. It’s just a shame the show isn’t on every night.
Until 27 August. 19 August, midnight.