Ben Fogg: How I Won Best Newcomer 2017 is definitely a solid comedic effort, but it’s not one yet guaranteed to earn the comedian the award so brazenly slotted into the title (that part, he confesses, is a marketing ploy). In this show, Fogg’s humour proves itself to be current and observational (think: irritating Facebook posts and bad dinner parties), but it lingers within what feels rather like a comfort zone. The jokes, while having the capacity to garner a few titters, can come off as tired, and lengthy stories are sometimes followed by lacklustre punchlines.

Having said that, Fogg manages to pull out of the bag some really inspirational moments. Much of his set is focussed on the concept of success and why it can feel so difficult to achieve, which sends heads nodding in agreement. The theme of success continues throughout the show, culminating in a motivational, high-octane finish that might even have members of the audience thinking, ‘hey, maybe this is the type of attitude I need to adopt.’

Featuring some unexpected twists, certain parts of the show ought to be applauded for their chaotic inventiveness, and Fogg definitely deserves praise for his ability to ad-lib. Some of the funniest moments, in fact, crop up when Fogg is interacting with his audience.

Fogg doesn’t quite succeed in producing the belly laughs he probably hoped for, but the show’s end is an uplifting slab of comedy that, on a cold Edinburgh day, will possibly make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Words: Morgan Laing

Ben Fogg: How I Won Best Newcomer 2017, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 4-27 (not 14), 4.45pm

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