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Fringe Review: Ian Smith: Craft @ Underbelly

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Ian Smith bursts into the venue like a firework, an explosion of energy injected into the dark room.  

Smith immediately connects with his audience, engaging individuals in hilarious introductory conversations before embarking on the rest of the show – a series of jokes stemming from his amusing daily observations, and some haikus and limericks thrown in for good measure.

Earlier that day, Smith had tweeted that he was losing his voice and was worried about his Fringe performance. As the show progressed, the cause of this ailment became apparent – Smith frequently bellows into the mike, adding drama and excitement to his stories. Luckily his voice remained strong throughout the show, barely cracking.

As Smith roared each punchline, the audience dissolved into fits of laughter, many howling at equal volume to Smith himself. Smith’s energy is so infectious, and his jokes so relatable, that he is likeable from the get-go.

This is a multi-media performance – slideshows and “live” video streaming used frequently throughout the show. The origami tutorial videos are particularly entertaining, as well as Smith’s use of audio description to guide his actions (and those of the audience).

The audience’s hilarity became apparent when one member of the audience began to choke on her drink, some beer trapped mid-laugh. Smith had to pause his show to check if she was okay before returning to the performance. At a comedy show, it is a complement if audience members are struggling to breathe, and Smith barely gives audience members a moment to catch their breath between jokes.

While Smith jokes about his desire to be on Mock the Week, it will be no surprise if he ends up in the major-leagues very soon. Catch this budding performer in the Fringe’s smaller (and cheaper) spaces before he begins to fill up major national venues. A show that is sure to leave you with jokes to quote for months, make sure to check out Smith’s clever and creative performance.


Ian Smith: Craft is at the Underbelly, Bristo Square, Buttercup (Venue 302) 17.15, August until August 26. For more information and tickets click here.

This article is part of our coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Click here to read other articles written by our contributors. 
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