Right off the bat Woods identifies himself as half-Scottish to this Edinburgh crowd, and produces a convincing impersonation of his Glaswegian mother to back up the claim. He talks briefly about his family and then dives into the meat of the show – his lockdown experience living with a best friend going through a mental breakdown. This sort of subject area is not typical of what you might find in Woods’ social media offerings which tend towards light-hearted, relatable comedy, but this more introspective style suits him well.
He explains how the revelation of his friend’s suffering made him see that he had not been as attentive as he could have been to the people he loves. Woods veers off into various tangents over the course of his set, using them to illustrate more aspects of life in which he now strives to be kinder, more generous, but always brings us back to this core thread with a level of ease rarely seen in someone so early in their career. Given that he came to prominence for his witticisms about life under a pandemic it’s no surprise there are plenty of those mixed in for good measure.
He is comfortable interacting with the audience and strikes up a friendly rapport with a group of Canadian women in the front row, pitting them against another row who are not laughing as jubilantly (the odd ones out in this sold out room). This ease is unexpected from an internet comedian but it speaks to the time Woods has spent touring the country preparing and previewing this show so that he could bring it to the Fringe in its most complete form. For a first go out, his set was extremely polished and impressive. Expect to see big things from this rising star.