Crammed into our tiny crate in the Pleasance Courtyard, the audience is already a bit angsty. It’s warm, cramped and we’ve come in from the rain. Cue the violins. Then, from behind the curtain, emerges a velvet clad hero.

Pierre Novellie is wonderful. His voice, timing and lack of any ridiculous pretence about fixing the world or sorting politics just makes for a satisfying evening. Leaving obvious outside the crate, Novellie just talks. His life, pizza, cat costumes and basically whatever else he feels like. A tremendous presence, there’s a timeless sense to this chap. His wit is old school, yet his humour is still fresh. There’s a class to his act which has been missing from a lot of shows this year.

Whilst not choosing to specifically interact with the audience, moments do crop up. Novellie handles them with precision, laughing and enjoying the banter with the crowd and his own recollection of events. The writing of his show is completely natural, flowing incredibly despite its obvious hard work. Without giving much away, his routine about a caricature will either leave you in stitches.

You don’t need a tacked-on theme for a show when your ability is seamless. Make a smart move, let yourself be smooshed into the crate, for there’s a solid chance you won’t want to leave after the hour.

Words: Dominic Corr

Pierre Novellie, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 22-27, 9.45pm

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