It might be clear that this is Josh Pugh’s debut hour, but despite the lack of Fringe experience, he comes across as natural and comfortable – if slightly excitable – in his new home on the stage. His show is raw and unpolished in style, but Pugh is an endearing character with an awkward charm, and the show suits him well. He helpfully prepares the audience for what’s to come so no one gets left behind.
The content, under the pretense of a movie production, covers anecdotes about his own life so far and how it has fed the script and jokes he delivers. The gags are dropped one after another, and come in all shapes and sizes. The delivery feels random and a bit messy, but he never loses pace and it all comes together as an effective portrayal of his own character.
The jokes are sometimes silly and, as he proclaims himself, weird, but he is consistently funny – even if sometimes you’re not sure whether you’re laughing at the intended punchline, or simply at Pugh’s manner. At points, it also feels like the show may still be in the experimental stages and Pugh is feeling his way with the help of the audience.
Honest and unapologetic about his quirky style of stand-up, Pugh is an endearing performer and challenges himself with new and fun ideas for the stage, including spreadsheets and a soundtrack to his life.
Words: Rachel May
Josh Pugh: A Boy Named Pugh, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 2-28 (not 15), 7.15pm