More than 20 years after first testing the pelvic floors of an audience past the point of no return, Raymond and Mr Timpkins have come to the Edinburgh Fringe.
The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue: Ham, Pleasance Dome (Venue 23) *****
It brings to mind occasions like Shirley Bassey doing Glastonbury or Sir John Geilgud in Tinto Brass’s Caligula. True Fringe comedy lovers should rejoice because, amongst the angry and the innovative, the thought-provoking and the moving, we have the funny. The bend-you-over, turn-you-red-in-the-face, non-stop, eye-wateringly funny.
It is, as Freddie would sing, “a kind of magic”, as huge gulping belly laughs are created out of juxtaposing two cardboard letters, mucking about with just the words ME or IT written on a card, and endless, painfully silly, brilliantly misheard song lyrics. If you are a pop fan, this show will change forever the way you hear many classic songs.
The funny rolls out relentlessly and in the most gloriously random manner so that you never have any idea where the next gusset-threatening laughter-bomb will be dropped. The experience is like a visual version of Tim Vine on speed – although the pace changes in the central section where we are treated to a thrilling storyline involving amateur dramatics, betrayal and a dead vicar.
Happily it takes more than a blown-up church and shattered thespian dreams to destroy this partnership and they are soon back eliciting shrieks of laughter around pictures of Farage, Heather Mills, and Girls Aloud, and those for whom there is no show without Trump will not be disappointed. Even Mr Timpkins’ painful problems with what looks to be quite severe IBS do not spoil the show – unless you cannot laugh at a good old-fashioned fart joke.
This is comedy that reminds us why we go out to see live shows. And it wears its incredible skill, its labour-intensity and its comic genius so lightly one might think it is just a bit of silliness.
Everywhere we hear talk about “taking something away” from a Fringe comedy show. What I took away from this one was a sore face, a shortness of breath and the need for fresh underwear.
• Until 27 August, 8:30pm