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Justin Edwards – Unaccompanied As I Am review at Pleasance Courtyard

Justin Edwards’ annual performance as children’s entertainer Jeremy Lion became a great fringe favourite over the past three years so Edwards’ return out of character with a show of comic songs is a courageous one.

Indeed, Edwards does not look quite as comfortable without Lion’s garish costume, sick props and bottomless supply of booze. Nonetheless, the show was highly enjoyable.

It is hard to think of the comic song without Jerome K Jerome’s classic 1889 novel Three Men In A Boat coming to mind in which the feckless characters were prone to perform – very badly – in this genre.

Modernising the comic song is not easy. On the whole, Edwards wisely avoids parodying pop songs, instead penning his own often complex and razor-sharp numbers.

The highlight of the show was him serenading a woman from the audience with the increasingly cannibalistic lyrics of a deranged love song. The barber shop quartet – in which Edwards had pre-recorded and videoed three of the parts and sang the fourth live – was technically impressive, although the punning was painful.

Sometimes you wondered if the songs were not more sophisticated than they needed to be, although there was no song which the audience did not find funny and the linking material was also strong.

When Edwards got a spot of wind in his gullet and the audience spontaneously started laughing, you knew they were secretly longing to see Jeremy Lion.

Furthermore, it might be better if Edwards did not to pretend the the grand finale has been cancelled for technical reasons. Audience members clearly believed him, ending an otherwise fine show on a low note.

Production Information

Pleasance Courtyard, August 2-28

Author/ cast
Justin Edwards
Running time
1hr.

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