Comedian Liam Withnail opens his latest hour explaining the ridiculous process of coming up with a show title and blurb in January for a Fringe show that hasn’t been written yet. He thought about mining his honeymoon for laughs (and the show blurb reads: “Three weeks in Japan with his wife – what could go wrong?) but nothing bad happened so if you’re expecting honeymoon drama you’re in for a disappointment. If, however, you are looking for an hour of consistently hysterical comedy then Homecoming is for you.
The English comic has lived and worked in Scotland for years and has the audience in the palm of his hand from the first gag. Anecdotes on gigging around the world give the comedian a chance to use his mimicry skills to great effect. Married to an Australian, Withnail apes Aussie culture with aplomb and a bit on football songs has the audience in fits of giggles. A vignette on the use of the word “juice” to describe every fizzy drink in Scotland and the recent change of Irn-Bru recipe leads to a fantastic spit take that has the audience howling.
Jokes around marriage are inevitable with the comedian’s nuptials still fresh in the mind and the decision of the couple not to move in together until after they were married was deemed unusual by some. Withnail believes his wife is a secret shitter having never seen any evidence of defecation and comes up with a few hilarious theories as to the toilet habits of his other half. A discussion on choosing not to have kids is insightful, marrying personal experience with the environmental impact of overpopulation and as the issue is rarely spoken about from a male perspective, was refreshing to witness.
It’s rare to be in a show where every joke lands and as the show progresses the laughs intensify. Withnail recently attended a comedy night entirely in Polish (which he doesn’t speak) and realises that laughter really is a universal language as he finds himself swept up in the atmosphere despite not understanding a word. Cultural stereotyping is discussed and an analogy of Brexit is the best I’ve heard yet at this Fringe.
The small, sweaty room at the Monkey Barrel could barely contain the comic and Withnail could easily pack out one of the big four venues with his humour, personality and cracking jokes. Be sure to catch Homecoming before the end of the run – you won’t regret it.