However, instead of standing in front of a microphone telling jokes to make us laugh in the usual way, he's surrounded himself with a barrage of props, including an hour glass, a Mac laptop, a cardboard box, a microwave oven and, bizarrely, a cash register which isn’t used in the show. As any actor will tell you, a prop is a useful thing to have about you on a stage when you’re not sure what else to do. Alex has an awful lot of props.
He’s good at interacting with the audience, who clearly enjoy being interacted with, and manages to involve at least 15 people. This seems to be a recognised path to an audience’s affections in Edinburgh. A lot of the shows are at it, not just comedy. The having-a-picture-painted-and-then-auctioning-it-off moment works best, the phonecall home to mother, probably least well.
However, the most engaging and unexpected episode comes not (only) from Horne himself but from a talking toy panda with impeccable timing.
There was a full house for this bland and undemanding show. If bland and undemanding is how you like your comedy, this one is probably for you.
- Craig Singer