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Beyond Compere


Venue:The City Café, 19 Blair Street Edinburgh EH1 1QR
Phone: 0131 220 0125
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: Hollywood
AUG 2-26 at 12:50 (60 min)
Show Image

Russell Hicks attempts to hone a work that is forever in progress by walking on stage with – literally – a fist full of ideas.

Click Here for Show Website
Video Link

News and Reviews for this Show

August 24, 2018  The List
Hour of masterful crowd work as comic figures it all out, whatever it is.

Russell Hicks' tiny karaoke room in the City Café isn't meeting the demand of today's queue. Sizing up the packed room, and with the door still wide open, he addresses those waiting outside. 'I'll swap you for these guys if I don't like them,' he says, gesturing at the assembled crowd. Another performer has claimed them and turns to face him. 'This is my audience,' she scowls.

Hicks' show is mostly just this sort of thing: adventures with other humans. Looking barely awake, he clutches a mug of coffee, enlists an older couple to act as surrogate parents, and takes us through an hour of masterful crowd work. It flies by, to the extent that it's closer to 70 minutes by the time he's done. What he lacks in timekeeping he makes up for with some genuinely amusing conversations. We learn today, for example, that the Lithuanian tourist board recently came up with the slogan 'the G-spot of Europe' to encourage visitors. Marriage is discussed, and Hicks tells us he hates being told 'you should have a kid, Russ,' given that he can barely arrive on time for his own show. It's all very convivial and – thanks to our host's fairly direct approach to asking personal questions – never dull.

A fistful of ideas turns out to be a rucksack containing a notebook. Consulting it, Hicks rambles about the joys of sparkling water and goes off on a tangent about squash before looking at us, resigned. 'It's a painful process,' he sighs. It may be so, but watching him figure it all out is an amusing way to start the day. Click Here

August 24, 2018  Three Weeks
A fist full might be overstating it. Only once or twice does Hicks dip into his notebook for new material, and even then, the temptation to chat to the audience proves too strong. Some comics don’t really need material though, and he succeeds in weaving comedy gold based on the people in the room. Rather than using us as hooks to hang his gags on, however, he seems genuinely interested. In terms of routines, Hicks alludes to his alcoholism, his accommodation and the difficulties of forming relationships later in life. He is a fascinating character, visibly bruised by life, yet he ensures that the focus is firmly on us. This is just the beginning – it’ll be interesting to see the finished product. Click Here

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