Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Just The Tonic at The Mash House, Edinburgh, until Sun 30 Aug 2015 @ 16:20

Shit my Dad says” may be familiar comedy territory, but in About A Roy, Scott Bennett gives it a lively, personal take in earthy Yorkshire tones. It’s immediately and accessibly funny stuff, put across very engagingly.

Bennett paints his father Roy in caricature as a bargain-hunting Yorkshireman, stocking up on mega-value bulk buys at the cash ‘n’ carry, and phoning his son with the latest offers. It all gets a bit Alan Partridge’s Big Plate when Bennett Sr. goes to a carvery and can’t resist making the most of the all-in-one price. His Mum doesn’t escape either. She’s the North’s Mrs Doyle, urging “go on, go on…” with various foodstuffs.

Put that way, it might sound ho-hum, but Bennett has a strong command of his material, is naturally adept with an audience and deals smartly and wittily with the ambient venue noise. There’s a couple of moments where the audience are ahead of him, but even this is acknowledged and rolled into the set. At times, it’s like a trans-Pennine translation of Peter Kay circa “Garlic Bread”, with amusing, astute family observations. Material about a Yorkshire sexline is particularly good.

The central topic is shaken up too with reflections on his own marriage and experience of fatherhood. Farts and self-soiling then take the tone down a peg or two, but so long as you don’t mind toilet humour, it’s all in good fun. And he draws a good picture of childhood family holidays that many will recognise.

There’s no breaking of new comedy turf obviously, but there’ll always be a place for observational humour done well, which is what we have here. Bennett is a gifted exponent of the art.