Join Ivo Graham as he celebrates his inadequacies – from failing to impress girls as a teenager to being named the “Weakest Link” by BBC’s Anne Robinson – the former Etonian explores his formative years through unforgiving lenses. With fresh self-deprecation and a charming hatred of his upbringing, no son of a banker was ever more relatable – or funnier. And while the show sees Graham making fun of his awkward inner dweeb, the material also feels personal and intimate; like looking through someone’s old high-school photos and realising that they haven’t changed that much. The show has traces of nostalgia and the dread that often follows one’s realisation of adulthood.
This act is smart, witty, and surprisingly apolitical, even though a significant part of the show is dedicated to naming British Members of Parliament. Rather than being a tool aimed at shedding new light on the current political climate, this name-game party trick is simply used as an opportunity for Graham to channel his inner nerd and display the extent to which his competitive spirit may drive his own obsessions.
While Graham’s delivery can at times seem awkward and shy, it is hilarious and unapologetic. The writing, though incisive and smart, remains accessible and inoffensive and this, combined with the superbly written sketch, make Graham’s act truly enjoyable.
Words: Mariana Mercado
Ivo Graham: Educated Guess, Pleasance Courtyard, 3-27 Aug (not 14), 8.15pm