Last time Jake Yapp was at the Fringe, it was still the noughties. Since then, he’s become the go-to man for a certain style of satire, having done the rapidfire potted TV show parodies on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe and the sketches on 6Music’s Shaun Keaveny Breakfast Show. Strange then that he should return to the Fringe with a stand-up heavy, or rather, sketch-light show like One In A Million.
The show’s premise is that none of us are unique. Even at those long odds, there would be sixty people identical to us in Britain. But tonight, we don’t dwell on it long. Yapp openly admits he has done that thing of coming up with a name for his Fringe show before writing it, and what follows pays only passing regard to that core concept.
Instead, Yapp chooses to expound, with some degree of erudition, on fairly niche cultural and scientific interests of his. We learn of the pseudo-psycho-sexual concept of orgone and how it might free the world from Trump and Isis. We learn of his love of Adam Curtis documentaries (one section where he does play his “TV show in two minutes” trump card). We get Hippocrates chat, and a dissection of Guess How Much I Love You? It’s enjoyably esoteric, but also quite cerebral, and takes time to ramp up to the funny bits.
Naturally, he’s more direct at finding the funny bone with his trademark sketches and characterisations. His two-faced Len Goodman has been outed before, but why mess with a winner? And he opens with a crowd-pleasing Fringe in Five Minutes. It’s perhaps not as biting as some of his other work (too long away from Edinburgh?) and it’s delivered at a less frantic and hypnotic pace than we’re used to, but given the time and place, the right opening move.
Yapp’s a very talented man, with a distinctive and original style, and though not necessarily playing to his strengths here, proves well worth a listen. Don’t leave it as long between visits next time, eh?