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Ian Smith – Flappable review

Pleasance Courtyard

By Tim Arthur

Ian Smith is an amiable fellow. It’s difficult to not be a little beguiled by his humble, self-effacing presence as he shuffles on to the stage and slightly apologetically announces that the premise of his show is the big questions in life which worry him.

Well, not really ‘in life’, but on Google. And not really the ‘big questions’, but the surprisingly mundane or peculiar questions which are most typed into the all-powerful search engine. However, as the show moves on Smith quickly diverts into his real theme, which is the huge amount of everyday events which cause him stress.

In a series of set pieces the Yorkshire comic describes socially awkward train journeys, discombobulating cast changes in soap operas and the traumas of getting dressed, which cause him daily anxiety and mental anguish. The small things in life appear to easily unsettle Mr Smith.

Although he’s obviously worked hard to make this an ‘Edinburgh show’ each section still feels like a ten minute club set loosely crowbarred into an overarching theme. There are laughs along the way, but not massive ones. He proves himself to be a gently amusing, inventive and accomplished storyteller rather than stellar stand-up.

He does, however, have one highly impressive coup de théâtre at the end of the show, which almost elevates it to something entirely more sophisticated and complex. But his own self-deprecation undermines this lovely twist and means that, overall, it’s still just a very pleasant hour spent with a thoroughly likeable young man. You don’t leave disappointed, you just don’t leave blown away either.

‘Ian Smith – Flappable’ is at the Pleasance Courtyard, 6pm

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