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Tom Allen: Indeed (Edinburgh Fringe): Review

absolutely The devil went down to Prada. Tom Allen. Photograph: Courtesy of Robert Gershinson.

Vicious, feisty, and absolutely hilarious, Tom Allen: Indeed takes on suburbia with viperous and sophisticated camp.


Tom Allen is gay, aged 32, has had to move back into his parents’ in outer London. Among the downstairs toilet refurbishments, local leisure centres, and driving tests, can he survive moving back to suburbia? After all, he survived it once!

Writing

I’ve known about Tom Allen for a while. Indeed, years ago I watched him host the Queer as Film evenings in London which I covered for So So Gay. Having won two comedy awards in 2005, it’s great to see him continue to garner success and recognition. This accumulation of talent and experience (so far), is a real epitome of his fantastic observational wit and exuberantly camp delivery.

What makes Tom Allen: Indeed so special though is just how tight and slick the writing is. A king of effortlessly refined bitchy observation, everything in Tom Allen: Indeed is snappy and energetic with the laughs constantly rolling in. Many chides will particularly resonate if you happened to grow up in the 1990s and/or lived in a rural or suburban area, to which there’s an added understanding and knowing, augmenting the already beautifully acerbic piss-takes. Not one topic is a dud one either, with every swipe clean, sharp, and damningly funny one. There are also some wonderful sub-narratives and recurring jokes that reappear at incredibly opportune points that simply bring the house down. All situations and scenarios are explored by Allen with the same comic ingenuity and tidy structure meaning there really isn’t one weak moment in the show, with everything delivered with one of the most dapper tongues in existence. Tom Allen: Indeed is an hour of standard stand-up, but it is a real beacon of the genre.

Performance

Allen’s performance is one of high energy and sophisticated shade. But despite the fact he is better than everyone (his words, not mine), there’s still a warm and fun personality that really drives the show. Everything about Allen’s stories feels like he wants to share them and enjoys sharing them with you, therefore really building and feeding off a cordial rapport of Allen’s Making. Allen really is a prince charming when it comes to stand-up, and when you add to that his sublime observationalist humour, and you have pretty much a perfect stand-up show.

Verdict

Chuck our your chintz and remove the plastic covers from the Laura Ashley sofa: Tom Allen, a suburban comic messiah, is in town. We’ll be needing the Portmeirion tea set.

Tom Allen: Indeed plays at the Pleasance Courtyard (venue 33), Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ, until 28 August 2016. Tickets are £8.50 – £11 (concessions available). To book, visit tickets.edfringe.com.