Review: Ben Pope: Baby Sasquatch at Pleasance Courtyard

Delightfully awkward is the best way to describe Ben Pope’s comedy.

He greets the audience shoeless as he launches into gags about his – spoiler alert – disastrous attempts at going it alone in adult life and trying to ‘find’ himself in various European countries. From a borderline emotional breakdown over Chanel No. 5 to a mountain rescue airlift from a reindeer sanctuary in the Cairngorms, the laughs flow aplenty as Pope recounts his varying failures at self-discovery, clubbing and alarm clocks.

Gawky and skittish but with a clear gift of the gab, Pope holds the attention of the small crowd with an impressive vigour. He incites some roaring laughs and manages to keep those laughs flowing the whole way through his set. There are almost none of those awkward silences or the nervous quiet laughter you inevitably get with less experienced stand ups. He throws the punches quickly and relentlessly and it pays off, with the crowd left gasping for their breath trying to catch a break from the infectious laughter.

Benedict Pope is aware that he’s not ‘special’ – neither in name nor on the comedy scene today. Another painfully middle-class white Englishman takes the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe. Yet, despite the millennial “I travelled to find myself and it went horribly wrong” subject matter being done time and time again by up-and-coming comedians, it seems fresh as Pope tells it. He is undeniably funny and a clear crowd favourite. 

Ben Pope: Baby Sasquatch, Pleasance Courtyard, 1-26 Aug, 8.30pm

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