Alex Edelman – Just For Us, 01/08/18, ★★★★★

There was a great atmosphere at the Pleasance Courtyard on the opening night of the Edinburgh Fringe, one of anticipation and exhilaration for the month ahead and what an opening it was from Alex Edelman. He’s honed his new show over the past year, which included an award nominated stint at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and his effort to get the show in shape for Edinburgh paid off throughout.

The Fringe is a great platform for shows that follow a single theme or a story, which can be an unfamiliar format for American comedians, luckily Alex Edelman is a master of this. On receiving anti-semetic abuse on Twitter he notices, among the vitriol, a particular upcoming event that he decides to attend. The particular event just happens to be a gathering of Nazis. This story runs through the entire show, with branches including his Olympian Brother, his work with Stephen Fry (and meetings with Royals) and the types of arguments you can have with friends.

The first half of the show has plenty of laughs, but it’s in the second half that everything starts landing and the story comes together, building momentum to the best pay off that I’ve ever seen in live comedy. Another through line of the show is about his constant desire to be liked by everyone, this show is a pretty excellent start to achieving that.

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