Fringe comedy reviews: Des Clarke and Spencer Jones

Des Clarke 3D
Stand Comedy Club ****

Des Clarke needs little introduction to audiences in Edinburgh. The affable Glaswegian is a regular at the Stand Comedy Club, and it’s there he cut his comedy teeth, at the venue’s popular Red Raw weekly showcase, all those years ago. 

He’s on familiar ground, then, as he returns to the Fringe with new show 3D, which sees him performing three different sets – each running for eight days – about the things that matter to him most. The trilogy of shows are titled Love, Sandwiches and the Apocalypse.

Clarke gets through a staggering amount of material during his time on stage, serving up his gags at breakneck pace in that rambling, stream-of-consciousness style he’s famous for. The only problem with this is that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the guy – he’s delivering the laughs so fast that sometimes he’s a joke ahead of his audience, who are still registering previous punchlines.

Over the course of an hour, he draws big laughs from tales about an awkward meeting with Prince Charles, the time when he botched up carrying the torch at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in his native Glasgow, and a first visit to Amsterdam on a lads holiday.

It’s a very Scottish-centric brand of comedy he dishes up, but don’t let this put you off if you’re from foreign shores, because it’s also very funny. Highly recommended.

Spencer Jones is The Herbert in Proper Job
Underbelly, Cowgate ****

Spencer Jones is a clown – but in a good way. The BAFTA-nominated star has brought his comedy alter ego, The Herbert, back to the Fringe in a brand new show, and it’s a whole lot of fun.

Mashing up visual comedy, bizarre music, props and characters aplenty, this quick-fire 50-minute show leaves the audience with massive grins on their faces. It’s silly – really silly – from start to finish, but Jones – who has won both Best Performer and Best Show at the Comedian’s Choice awards – is definitely someone you want to spend time in the company of.

Along the way, he does funny things with weird and wonderful props he bought off the internet, takes us on a tour of a nuclear plant where he’s gone for a job, and then we all head off to A&E, where his young son is getting ‘tests’ done.

Afterwards, if you’re lucky, you’ll even get to meet this cute little fella on the way out of the door.  And who wouldn’t want that? He’s got a fox’s head, after all.