REJECTING an overriding narrative for six unrelated routines, Blizzard, in its tight, hour-long format, is the sort of show that might go unheralded at the Edinburgh Fringe, where hype and artistic pretension is everything. Out of that pressure cooker environment, however, Ed Gamble’s latest offering plays extremely well in a club setting.
Ed Gamble: Blizzard, The Stand, Glasgow ****
The show is named after an ill-fated holiday Gamble took with three other comedians last year, which saw them trapped in New York by a snowstorm. I should declare an interest here as I wrote the initial, throwaway story about this which was then picked up by the BBC and other news outlets.
Capably exploiting the gap between the level of fame the BBC story implied and his actual public standing, Gamble affects a blustering outrage. This leads him nicely into resisting his pigeonholing as a “diabetic comedian” and his incredulous protests that diabetic comedy “is not a thing” – subterfuge for him to mine 10 solid minutes of gags explaining the self-care of his condition to the layperson.
Whether it’s through righteous indignation at being conned by a dog charity or eking out the embarrassment of a solo trip to the Edinburgh Dungeon, Gamble keeps the joke rate impressively high through his anecdotes, emerging as a chip off the old block in the snapshot he provides of his eccentric father. A gift to a stand-up, Gamble Snr’s retirement and descent into feline impersonation proves more hilariously excruciating than any role-play performed by George Galloway in the Big Brother house. - JAY RICHARDSON