The Wee Room at the Gilded Balloon is aptly renamed ‘the comedy oven’ by debutant at the Fringe, Red Richardson. And inside this proverbial furnace the audience warm to the young comedian as he delves into a world of missed opportunity with just a hint of bitterness.
Seventeen years ago Richardson auditioned for the Harry Potter films alongside now Hollywood movie star, Daniel Radcliffe. He was down to the final five but an incident involving a chicken and a thunderstorm put paid to his hopes of taking on the role of the most famous child wizard in the land. Never mind, he reflects, there is still more chance of him getting to Hogwarts than ever needing to pay back his student loan!
Yes, like all good millennial comedians there is a certain amount of generational jokes but this is far from a run-of-the-mill show. Richardson has the calm surety of a much more seasoned performer and although obviously nervous he allows time for his material to settle before moving on with the next anecdote or one-liner.
Word is clearly spreading about this new comedian on the scene, the audience packed into ‘the comedy oven’ and lapping up his self-deprecating humour and honest accounts of his experiences both growing up in a New Age town in Devon where kids were more likely to be offered drugs from their parents than a McDonald’s Happy Meal, through to moving to London and realising even if he was a millionaire he would have to live in a box.
If this opener is anything to go by Fringe audiences will being ‘Seeing Red’ for years to come.