Comedy + August = Edinburgh seems an obvious equation, but it’s twelve years since Mitch Benn last performed solo on the Fringe, and there have been some changes in the intervening years. One of which being that, physically, the Mitch known to those (including this reviewer) who remember him from his sojourn among us is a shadow of his former self, having lost over half his previous weight.
Although a little less cuddly Mitch takes the stage in Stand Three (the former police club on York Place) it’s clear he’s as ornery as ever, taking justified swipes at the follies and foibles of this mad world. Known to many for his satirical song-smithing on BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Now Show’ and to some for other stuff, including ‘Mitch Benn’s Crimes against Music’, Benn takes his audience through some familiar and less-known items from his oeuvre.
It has to be said that it’s a tad disconcerting when said items are delivered not by a large gentleman in a caftan, but rather one in pretty trim prime, and it sinks in they’re one and the same – only not quite. Nonetheless, it is the same Mitch, and familiar and fresh material went down well with the near-capacity audience that had braved a miserable Edinburgh Sunday to listen and laugh at tales of parenthood, Star Trek fans, the Eurovision Song Contest, iphones, a rap version of ‘Macbeth’ (featuring that item of technology) and to clap loudly in support of the anthem ‘Proud of the BBC’.
His versatility of composition makes Mitch Benn one of the most innovative and intelligent of satirists. His short run at The Stand ends on 14th August. Catch him if you can.
Show times: 4-14 August, 15.00