Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Nakedly acknowledging both its three-star solidity with a casual gag and its debt to Britain’s greatest living naturalist in terms of shifting tickets with his name, Tom Neenan’s latest hour is a slight, amusing, none-too-original but enjoyable enough afternoon diversion.
Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302)
Emerging from the audience as if from undergrowth, he affects the mannerisms of the esteemed filmmaker but swiftly sidelines the impression to introduce a caper, supposedly from Attenborough’s early days at the BBC, when his tarnished reputation led to him being dispatched to Canada to try to find the elusive Bigfoot. Featuring a vengeful South African poacher also on the trail, a marmoset sidekick that the naturist treats with the blithe indifference of a documentarian above wildlife’s kill-or-be-killed fray and a threatening bear, it’s a simple tale that Neenan pads out with a slick Powerpoint presentation.
The gags he supplies are of varying quality, though these do include a delightful reimagining of two of the UK’s most famous comedians with distinctive laughs as exotic birds.
While his former Gentlemen of Leisure sidekick Nish Kumar has pivoted more towards satirical stand-up, Neenan has continued to plough their furrow of spoofing genre tales, with reasonable but increasingly predictable returns.