BOOTHBY GRAFFOE: ALL ON HIS OWN
Scotsman Assembly, Edinburgh
August, 2002

**** Free-association comedy that deconstructs itself

Graffoe is known as a fast thinker, and for deliberately unravelling his ideas as he goes along. This year's show is no exception.

I've seen a few comedians do the joke of restarting their show from the top when latecomers arrive, but only Graffoe who took his stage name from a Lincolnshire village goes so far as to get the venue's front-of-house person to make the "no recording; emergency exits are here" announcement all over again.

At times things seem almost shambolic, but it's just that he can't resist taking a hike down the road less travelled. Consequently, when doing a dialogue in silly voices, his accent slips and he ends up in a routine about Osama bin Laden being French. He asks where one punter is from, and is told Belfast; at that moment, we hear the bang of fireworks from the nearby Tattoo; quick as a flash, Boothby giggles to the Ulsterman, "Finished work for the night, have you?" He plays a few songs with guitar and digeridoo, and even his playing technique is self-parodic not bad, but clever and unexpected.

I'm never quite sure how to review Boothby Graffoe, but I always make a point of seeing his shows, just for the sheer fun. Let that be a recommendation in itself. A show for everyone who likes it when a big, silly grin breaks out on their face.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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