Review: Red Richardson: Seeing Red at Gilded Balloon Teviot

Red Richardson is delightfully sardonic. He’s journeyed from one of England’s liberal hippy havens to the chaos of London to the unfortunate episodes of university and then here, to his debut show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to deliver his perspective on a wide range of topics from the misguided phenomenon of Fresher’s week to societal expectations for charity fundraisers.

It’s not childlike wonder but rather childlike bafflement which makes his observational comedy so unique. At one point in the show, he contemplates civilisation, simply conveying his awe at the feats of engineering and ingenuity that society manages to unite and produce. ‘If it were up to me,’ he explains, ‘life would begin and end at the nearest hill or river.’ There would be no conflict, only arm shaking and insult exchanging as one group of people gazed at another on the banks of a river they had neither the will nor the means to cross.

He had a similarly minimalist approach to his audition for the role of Harry Potter. Had he committed to the role more seriously, he could be where Daniel Radcliffe is now. In his defence, his parents have not set the bar very high for him. Red is his real name, selected from a Clint Eastwood movie his mother and father watched the day after his birth. Comparing himself to Daniel Radcliffe makes his time at Greggs seem humorous, but compared to his outlaw namesake he is doing quite well.

Brilliant hot takes on the shortfalls of being a millionaire in London, the future of dog breeding and the hidden bravery in cowardice all capitalise on this same rational, yet novel perspective. Seeing Red proves that you don’t need ambition to get at life’s truths. Catch him now before he embraces his true calling as a house husband.

Red Richardson: Seeing Red, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 18-27 Aug, 5.45pm


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