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ED FRINGE REVIEW Al Porter, At Large


I spoke to 22 comedians over the summer ahead of this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and one of my favourite chats was with Irish comedian Al Porter who has brought his second show to the Fringe this year.

I must admit, I hadn't heard of Al until the PR approached me to see if I'd be interested for an interview with him, and a quick watch on YouTube informed me that yes, I was.

His style of comedy looked right up my street and I subsequently heard great things about his debut show Is Yours.

He's a regular contributor on the Irish national broadcaster, RTE Radio, he recently supported Katherine Ryan on her London tour dates, appeared on Live In The Apollo after last year's Fringe and only last week was seen on Channel 5 in their panel show It's Not Me, It's You alongside Eamonn Holmes, Kelly Brook and Vicky Pattison.

Last night I watched Al in the appropriately titled Cabaret Bar at the Pleasance to watch his second Fringe show Al Porter At Large.

If you think you've seen camp comedy, think again. Watching Al, there's no doubting his sexual orientation and just in case you hadn't clocked on he goes into quite graphic detail about his threesomes and his dad only now allowing boys to stay over in his council estate flat where Al still lives.

Al apologised for sweating so much (he even sweated from his knees) and even alluded to the fact that he looked like Lee Evans, another comedian known for sweating through every pore telling us he's "Sweating like Lee Evans, without the material".

Al is great with an audience and I suspect that every show is different depending on who he's got in but last night's audience seemed to play right into his hands. He was able to make an ageist joke, a racist joke and even asked two members of the audience if they were muslim. For any other comedian, this might have been enough to empty the room, but thankfully the room quickly learnt that he meant no malice.

Speaking of a dream audience, he spent a large part of the show flirting with a man in the front row whose partner was sitting next to him, and it was her birthday. But you'd be mistaken for thinking it was Al's birthday as when the show ended he went straight in for a kiss and locked lips with this unsuspecting audience member.

Al Porter At Large was honest, hilarious, very camp and a lot of fun. A perfect way to end an evening at the Fringe... even if you do end it with a bit of a sing song. Al manages to get the entire audience on his side by the on the show so much that they're only too willing to sing "Jesus. Who the fuck is Jesus?"

Al needs to be seen to believed, and "got". Whilst he might be a household name in Ireland, I can only hope that more and more people become aware of him in the UK. The potential for the career which lies ahead of Al is huge.

Al Porter: At Large will be on at the Pleasance Courtyard (Cabaret Bar) until Sunday 28th August at 10:40pm


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