There’s always a little trepidation when you go to your first Fringe show because you’re never quite sure what you’re gonna get; it’s always a bit of a gamble. Well, unless you deliberately pick someone you already love, but in my mind that’s kinda doing the Fringe wrong. The first challenge is, of course, finding the venue where your comedian of choice is performing, which means wandering around in the miserable rain and avoiding ending up with hundreds of flyers for acts that you’re either already going to see or would rather bake your family into a casserole than end up at.
Thankfully, Chris Kent qualified as one of the former, and as I located Studio Four in Assembly down the stairs at George Square I found myself third in the queue and ended up sitting at the front. It was a very simple setup with just the crescent light pool of a spotlight against a black curtain backdrop with a single microphone standing in the centre.
Titled appropriately, Moving On sees Kent reflect on the changes in his life over the last few years: moving to the UK, moving into parenthood by having his first child, moving into a bigger home, hell there’s even a bit about bowel “movements”. He’s a great story teller and, although most of the topics discussed are almost commonplace, they are also easily relatable helping to fuse a bond between him and the audience. This carefree and warm nature puts us at ease immediately allowing us to enjoy his musings that focus on the absurdity that often accompanies the banalities of the everyday. Particular highlights were the story about trying to turn down a full English breakfast in a hotel and the story about trying to get his deposit back after a check out flat inspection.
Perhaps a hint of jitters with it being the first night, Chris’ confidence in the coup de grâce of his punchlines sometimes undercut the audience’s laughter. Elsewhere the story about a whiteboard felt like it could have used a stronger build up, or allowed us to figure out the punchline for ourselves, before the reveal. Pedantry aside, these are minor quibbles and I feel harsh just bringing them up considering this was the first night!
The hilarity for most of the show came from seeing Chris relive his frustrations of these previous encounters and listening as his clever, dry humour punctuated each tale. While the subjects are familiar, the laughs come, as with all good comedy, from his personality as he shares his unique perspective on each moment. I found the narrative of the show wonderfully constructed and, especially because this was my first show of the year, it was just great to be swept up in a solid hour of laughing.
Chris Kent’s Moving On runs until 28th August at Assembly George Square Studios, 17:15.