Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Adam Riches – Adam of the Riches review

Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.

adam riches press 2014
© Idil Sukan Draw HQ

Adam Riches – Adam of the Riches review

Pleasance Dome

By Ben Williams

By the end of Adam Riches’s new show the room looks like a scene from a horror movie. There’s a pile of junk at the back of the stage: an upturned table, an electric shaver, office chairs, bead curtains, monks’ habits and some blood-stained sheets. The journey to this heap of mess, though, is nothing to be scared of. The 2011 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award winner – on his first return to the Fringe since bagging the gong – has created another triumph of cunningly crafted, high-energy character comedy that’s big on laughs.

We open with a voiceover announcing that the part of Adam Riches is to be played by Sean Bean. Cue Riches in full-armoured get up, spouting a dodgy Sheffield accent and slaughtering his fans. It’s Riches in his element: being outrageously silly and bombastic. But it’s when he begins his trademark audience participation that the show takes an infectiously funny turn. Not many performers could coerce punters into strumming their neighbour’s hair like a harp, but Riches does simply with the command ‘get in his groin!’

Following the ‘gravel-sweating’ British actor we’re introduced to an unconventional mixologist, a Deep South tattoo artist, a morose Ryan Gosling and his less-than-coy mother. Short, throwaway characters make for a snappy change of pace, but it’s Riches’s longer set pieces that make the audience howl. In these, his semi-willing volunteers have a chance to suss out the character, get on board with the concept and allow themselves be persuaded. By the time we meet the Yakult-guzzling Victor Legit – a regular Riches character since 2006 – punters are aware that, whatever they might be asked to do, Riches will always come out worse. And he does.

The Radio 4 star knows what works, and has stayed slightly within his comfort zone here. Sean Bean is remarkably similar to Riches’s Daniel Day-Lewis parody from his award-winning show, and many characters follow similar formulas. But when his comfort zone is this funny, you can hardly blame him.

‘Adam of the Riches’ is at the Pleasance Dome, 9.45pm

The latest Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews

Show more
See all Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews

    You may also like

      Support Time Out

      We see you’re using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue is Time Out’s main source of income. The content you’re reading is made by independent, expert local journalists.

      Support Time Out directly today and help us champion the people and places which make the city tick. Cheers!

      Donate now