With flames on the screen, heavy metal music blaring and the title of Mammoth, one would be forgiven for expecting a very different persona to come out and entertain them this evening, but the reality is that Ed Gamble is a bassoon playing, marathon running, public school boy who just happens to have a penchant for rock music. It matters not, because he is very, very funny and uses his middle-class pursuits as a catalyst for his material.
Returning to the Fringe for a second year Gamble has a strong stage presence and uses it to great effect, particularly when delving into the comedy tightrope of audience interaction. Gamble is a master at it, never going too far but frequently interacting with the expectant crowd who have packed out one of the swelteringly hot black boxes at the Pleasance, opening with a “get your tops off” line which he jokes is leaving latecomers confused as to what they have come to!
What they have come to is an hour of excellent observational comedy of everyday things many people will relate to such as the seemingly impossible ability women have to shed hair everywhere they go in the house, the fear of what your mum will say when you get a tattoo, and the trepidation of a sports massage.
At one point Gamble creates a sequence around the fact he is clearly not the people person he thought he was, but there is an irony here as one of the reasons his show is such a success are his personable qualities which have people laughing along with him from beginning to end.
There has been much comment this year (from media outlets and other comedians) that the comedy circuit is saturated with young white males of a certain social standing and appearance and yet, despite fitting squarely into this category, it would be a comfortable assumption to make that Gamble is surely on the brink of becoming a household name.