It’s no great secret that the majority of audiences at the Edinburgh Festival hate all manner of interaction with a comedian (or any other human being for that matter).
Their heads immediately shoot down to the brace position and many opt to nudge their partner in the firing line in 1984-style betrayal to avoid the wrath of a comedian. However, the audience at Jay Lafferty felt quite the opposite. After some early ice breakers, most seemed more than willing to chat to the friendly and chilled out Glaswegian comic without fear of a verbal battering.
Lafferty is a hugely entertaining and engaging storyteller, however one or two of the earlier jokes, whilst amusing, felt somewhat unrealistic, resulting in some hollow laughs and missed marks. The material was at its strongest when focused on the key differences between present times and 20 years ago. The delivery in these moments was brilliantly executed in a way the whole room could relate to. A particular highlight involved an unexpected airing of Pour Some Sugar on Me and a fantastically accurate anecdote regarding shag tag.
At times, this show felt like it was on the cusp of something more, but whilst there was some strong moments, it fell just short of greatness. Unfortunately, an unexpected ending lacked build up and the shock disrupted the energy in the room somewhat. Still, if you’re looking for the cure for your phobia of audience interaction, this is the perfect show for you.
Jay Lafferty: Wheesht!, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 8-27 Aug (not 20), 6.30pm