Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Some of the younger, more thrusting young comics on the Fringe would do well to take a look at what Edward (Ed) Aczel is doing.
Heroes@TheHive (Venue 313)
There’s a beatific air about Aczel, who, according to Fringe legend, still works in a fantastically boring office job for the rest of the year.
Aczel is slow, deliberate, unruffled with a disarmingly genuine interest in listening to what people have to say.
At one point he has a long discussion with a member of his audience about how to get the best tariff for his gas bill. Later he insists, politely but very pointedly, that another audience member tells him whether or not he could remember the last item he ever bought from a department store.
His show includes exhaustive and very precise meditations on the nature of infinity, which reference great theories of science, philosophy and mathematics without caring very much at all what any of them might mean. In case anyone is unfamiliar with his style and makes the mistake of thinking Aczel is serious, he begins and ends his show with a couple of beautifully made little films – which set the tone by showing him him dancing around London parks to classic pyschedelic pop songs with flowers in his hair.
They are the perfect counterpoint to his lugubrious delivery. He mutters, hesistates, appears to be reading his material from sheets of paper – but then takes you completely by surprise with a perfect ambush of a punchline that makes you snort and splutter out loud with laughter. This sort of pace only comes with experience. It’s deliberate, it is a skill and it is expertly done.
Aczel strikes an elegant balance between thoughtfulness and frivolity, existing in a perfect comedy bubble, where nothing and everything matters, and life is as light as a feather floating softly to the ground.
Until 27 August. Today 6:15pm.