Review: Ed Night: An Aesthetic at Pleasance Courtyard

For most of us, it’s hard enough to order a pizza with a hangover, never mind stand in front of a sold out room of strangers every night for three weeks.

South London comedian Ed Night doesn’t waste any time in confessing to the room he’s been hungover every day of the festival so far, yet he’s still managed to bind together a tight hour of comedy that, on the face of it, should have been anything but.

There’s audience interruptions, phones going off, drink spillages, breaks to switch on the air con and more attempts at a suitable ending than the third Lord of the Rings film, yet this all adds to the unpredictable charm of the show.

Night hops between cautionary tales of Catholic guilt, mental health challenges, the lower middle class and his hatred of the group of silent disco walkers around Edinburgh – the latter of which garners vehement agreement from the majority of the room.

What sets Night apart from the large number of his peers tackling topical events in their Fringe shows is the sheer passion and intellect he possesses and his ability to get his message across. In rare breaks from the laughter, the audience are transfixed on Night and his war with himself as he struggles to comprehend how things have gone so wrong in a society in which social media has blurred the lines between fiction and reality. It’s motivating to see a stand-up dipping a toe into these murky waters not just for laughs, but because of a burning desire for change. 

It’s not all serious, though. Ed Night has a natural talent for comedy and is a dab hand when it comes to quick-witted audience interaction. You’ll come out of the show feeling like you’ve endured an hour long core workout in a fan oven with the overwhelming realisation that you can never watch Shrek 2 again.

Ed Night: An Aesthetic, Pleasance Courtyard, 10-26 Aug, 9.15pm.

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