Tuesday, April 23

Rob Brydon ‘A Night Of Songs & Laughter’ – Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Once upon a time in the early noughties Rob Brydon was a cult figure, beloved by those-in-the-know for Marion & Geoff, Human Remains and The Keith Barret Show. Before bobbing up into the mainstream in 2007 via Gavin & Stacey he’d been the voice of countless adverts (following the Megan incident at BBC Radio Wales), the resilience, versatility and humour developed during what was a dark(-ish) period in his professional career and personal life providing ample material for tonight’s show. Of which we wish there’d been more, but… check the title.

No-one’s used the words ‘national’ or ‘treasure’ yet but they must be imminent. Accumulated over the years Brydon can draw on such a deep well of honed wit, charm and skill it’s difficult to imagine anything he does failing. Both sure-footed and a safe pair of hands, with pipes to match, it’s tricky ignoring all the Welsh cliches concerning Rugby players and singers. He manages to lambast and soothe the audience at the same time. Faking disappointment at the ageing demographic present he revels in the opportunities it throws up for pantomime interaction and cosy innuendo, skilfully dusting proceedings with just enough acid. Which was essential given the homely rug and Doonican stool placed centre-stage. The songs were excellently executed by Rob himself with the backing of a strong band (led by the long-suffering Paul Herbert) but the most interesting parts of the show lay in the narrative; his disappointments, rejections, his first (theatrical) kiss and subsequent success involving the many luminaries with whom he now rubs shoulders. His impressions were (no S*&t, Sherlock!) top drawer, rendering the songs an interruption.

Overall this was pleasant, milk chocolate Rob Brydon. One longed for a bit more of the spiky, dark chocolate version.

Reviewer: Roger Jacobs

Reviewed: 16th February 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.