For a short run of eight nights, Fringe favourite and star of Channel 4’s The Last Leg, Adam Hills, returns to Edinburgh with a new hour of wit and simply great comedy. His sixteenth appearance on the Fringe, having first appeared in 1997, he’s smartened up his appearance, tonight wearing a very dapper matching teal waistcoat and trousers.
Hills’ humour is quick, clever and mostly clean and something you’d feel comfortable dragging your mother or 15 year old son to. He may have a scripted set, but he always allows time for improvisation.
Unsuspecting audience members, such as good sport Dave from Surrey, who happens to be sitting in the front row and is travelling around Scotland on his motorbike, become Hills’ fall guys for the evening. A fantastic impromptu twenty minutes of fine comedy follows, with Hills ringing Dave’s wife, scripting a scenario on the spot. Hills even strips Dave topless, wrapping him up with duct tape, taking a selfie and sending it to the poor man’s wife.
Less comedic subjects also get airtime but there’s a lightness and sensitivity in the way that he handles the subjects of raising children, death and cancer.
There’s also his selfless act of engaging with an audience member, Craig, who he met while performing in Australia. Craig, when diagnosed with thyroid cancer and not given a huge amount of time to live, designates Tuesdays as the day for taking nude photos of himself for a laugh. Hills sets up a series of photo-shoots of Craig in iconic poses, which gets TV coverage in Australia and we get to see them on a big screen.
Craig, through the wonders of technology and Facetime, appears live on stage at the end of the show, doing a strip-tease, along with Hills. Well you get to see him down as far as his Saltire jockeys.
Hills is one of the nicest guys in comedy and also the most generous. His show ends with him asking the audience to put some money in his bucket for the ‘Sick Kids’ hospital in Edinburgh, a charity he regularly supports, in return for a selfie. Judging by the length of the queue, Sick Kids hospital will be in for a healthy cheque.
Hills’ Sunday show has a BSL interpreter, and if you haven’t been to one of these it’s worth a punt; that’s if you can get a ticket.
Raucously funny, Hills proves that even when dealing with sad situations, laughter really is the best medicine. However, given that his short run is already sold out, you may have to beg, borrow or steal a ticket, or get super organised for next year!