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Jake Lambert: LIMINAL – Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022

This had to be the most repetitive comedy hour I’ve ever come across. Jake Lambert eventually had a full house, but some punters hadn’t allowed sufficient time between shows to get to their next one. I’ve never understood why this is – there just isn’t a way of teleporting from one venue to another in a city that still functions as a city (just about) even while the festivals are in full swing. But there were so many latecomers Lambert felt obliged to start again, and again, and so on.

Jake Lambert
Jake Lambert

Audience rapport having been established early on, it was cemented by an interaction with the front row. At the performance I attended, the usual advice to sit in the front row (whatever the front of house staff may effervescently suggest) at one’s own peril was gloriously subverted by audience members who were, so to speak, up for it. Front row murmurs shortly after Lambert told everyone his long-term relationship had ended during lockdown were sufficiently loud to warrant a question to check everything was okay – one lady had suggested one of their group, also single, could possibly get together with him. (The apparently potential bride sat with her head in her hands.)

Twenty minutes into an hour-long set, the miscellaneous latecomers had all made their introductions (at Lambert’s request), and the rest of us had learnt, amongst other people, about a couple of musicians who busk during the Fringe on the Royal Mile (I think I’ve seen one of them, Morf – if indeed it is him – playing the guitar horizontally), and a couple who had dashed over from Tim Vine’s gig in a different part of the Pleasance Courtyard. Lambert even took it upon himself later on to insert Vine-like puns into his routine. We did eventually get around to most of the salient points about his epilepsy, which placed him in a priority group for the Covid-19 vaccination, and re-establishing contact with Hannah, who was a guiding light for him when he was first diagnosed with epilepsy.

I found it pretty much impossible to disagree with his lines of argument. On the completely different subject of football, for instance, he asserts the players and staff must surely have quite liked playing to empty stadiums when public health restrictions were in force: “Whose job wouldn’t be improved by removing thousands of people calling you a wanker?” Reviewers can only pass judgement on the performance they attend, and for a comedian to have his flow interrupted so many times and turn each and every one to his advantage is a remarkable achievement. This was pure brilliance from start to finish.

5 Star Rating

Review by Chris Omaweng

Jake Lambert returns to Edinburgh with his third show: Liminal.

A show about identity, culture wars, and epilepsy, but don’t worry there’s also jokes. Plenty of jokes.

Jake Lambert: LIMINAL
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022
Pleasance, Baby Grand 7.05pm
3rd-28th August 2022
https://www.pleasance.co.uk

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