Showing @ Pleasance Dome 26-28th Aug 23:30 1h

The concept of Popcorn Comedy is to present comedy video hits with a couple of live acts who show their own films and crack a few jokes. The acts change every night, and in this case that’s probably a good thing. Stumbling onto the stage Caroline Mabey, the compere, fumbled for the mic and made some embarrassing jokes that barely garnered a laugh then tottered off to allow some mildly titillating short-films to play out to a dead crowd. After each flick a trickle of audience members scampered out.

Then come the acts for the evening, Rob Rouse and Gareth Richards. Rouse was the most competent performer of the show with jokes about his horny dog. He offered his films Rain Duck and The Omlette, which went down fairly well but the awkward merge of live and recorded left the audience and Rouse himself unsettled. Unable to shift the less than hospitable atmosphere to a high, Mabey introduces Richards. Undeniably intoxicated, Richards forgot lines to his songs, abused the audience and got confused about the direction of the speakers. When he did pull it together with a song about men you shouldn’t date, like policemen in case they shoot you by accident, he was endearing and enjoyable but it was too little too late. Whether it’s the merge of film and theatre, which have always been awkward bedfellows, or whether it was the inebriated performers, this night was not a success. That said, the best thing about Popcorn Comedy is it’s different every time, maybe hold out for Frisky and Mannish next time.