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Lew Fitz: ‘Soft Lad’ review

  • Comedy
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
An image of Lew Fitz
Photograph: Matt Stronge

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A seductive debut from a northern newcomer

There’s something arresting about newcomer Lew Fitz, the northern comic who’s brought his debut one-man show, ‘Soft Lad’, to the Fringe. Maybe it’s his blunt honesty. Maybe it’s his boyish demeanour. Maybe it’s the semi-oblivious way he bounds around the stage, so caught up in his jokes that he tangles himself in the mic cable. Or maybe it’s the cut-to-the-chase camaraderie that he swiftly builds with the audience – something that becomes all the more seductive in the intimacy of Gilded Baloon’s Teviot House turret.

Fitz is an Amused Moose New Comic winner and was nominated for the BBC New Comedy Award, as well as being the youngest ever finalist in Florida’s Funniest Comedian competition way back in 2015. ‘Soft Lad’ follows him growing up in a Moss Side council estate near Manchester and running away to live in the US. He returns home almost ten years later to find out that actually, time hasn’t stood still waiting for him to show his face.

Some of the jokes fall a bit flat, such as the bizarre nursery rhyme about a pig and a train driver. There are some awkward transitions and probably a little too much reliance on poking fun at American stereotypes. But for the most part, punchlines are delivered very well. It’s his self-deprecating comments and sharp awareness of the intricacies of class in modern Britain that really tickle the crowd, though. The London elite, mortgages, the train network, drinking games and the wind – none of it is groundbreakingly clever, but it has a broad appeal. 

Had Fitz ran with boisterous banter for the entirety of the show, it might have all been a bit much. But the show ends on a very different note – one of guilt and maybe even sadness. Finally, we get to see the gooey, golden yolk under his hard shell, and it’s absolutely delicious. With a bit more polish, I’m sure ’ol Lew will iron out the hiccups. There’s promising things to come.

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson


£12, £11 concs. Runs 1hr
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