Comedy review: Tim Renkow Tries To Punch Down, Monkey Barrel Comedy Club

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“I have seen four shows today and that just blew everything else out of the water,” says the man behind me, as we leave.

Tim Renkow Tries To Punch Down, Monkey Barrel Comedy Club (Venue 55) ****

This is possibly Renkow’s most evolved show yet. He has beautifully crafted material, some killer one-liners and he plays in the comedy dark side as if he has night-vision goggles. Renkow thinks that comedy’s “no punching down” rule is “bullshit”. To be fair, he thinks quite a lot of things are “bullshit” and when you hear his reasons you just might be persuaded. Especially on the racism front. Racism is fertile funny territory for Tim. It is huge fun to watch the semi-professionally “liberal” squirm in one of Renkow’s shows and when he talks about sex with his partner a lot of buttocks spring into action.

• READ MORE: Edinburgh Fringe 2018: The 5-star shows you must see before the Festival ends

Kids in parks and how to get freebies on the Fringe, going to hell and the Rules of the Nightbus all lose their innocence in Renkow’s mordant grip and I can’t see any of it ending up on’s 10 Best Jokes.

Terrorism, why stairs are better than escalators and an appalling but hilarious story about an attempted exorcism keep the hour balanced between the properly personal (but dark) and the comic polemical (darker).

Few comics have a glint quite as unsettling in their eyes, and even fewer follow through on it. This is great writing from a fearless comedian who is really coming into his own.

Please regard trigger warnings for absolutely everything as a given.

• Until 26 August, 8pm