top of page

ED FRINGE REVIEW James Acaster, Reset


When I returned from the Edinburgh Fringe last year, I was asked "Who was the highlight?" or "Who was your favourite?" and the name which came to my mind first was James Acaster.

It was the first time I'd seen him live, but his routine was so good that he's now on my list to see every year. This year's show Reset has already sold out, a testament to the hard work James clearly puts in which has earned him a loyal audience and Edinburgh Comedy Award nominations than anyone else!

Last year's show was so good that could this year's match up to it? Well in a word, yes. And dare I say, it's even better.

There's no denying that Acaster is at the top of his game when it comes to constructing an hour-long comedy show. He ensures that each joke is carefully constructed in such a way which means that they all serve as a purpose. What may appear to be a throw away comment about the size of his shirt pocket comes back at the very end to surprise the audience and leave them thinking, "God that James Acaster is a clever comedian". And he is.

This year's show centres around James contemplating with changing his identity and going on a witness protection scheme after a (dare I say, genius yet flawed) scam involving buying and selling honey at the local supermarket doesn't go the way he'd hoped.

Whilst we've all probably thought about what we'd do first if such a thing were to happen to us, James' first thoughts are probably as different as you can get. Remembering to charge his electric toothbrush being at the top of his list!

It seems as though a new law has entered the Fringe this year, comedians must reference/make a joke about Brexit and Acaster adheres to the rules, but does it his own way.

He talks about being offered a cup of tea on the day of the EU Referendum and reaching boiling point (you can have that one James) when asked whether the teabag should be left IN or OUT.

What follows is a superb comparison between the decision to leave a teabag in or out of a mug to leaving Europe. I'll leave you discover it for yourselves as it really is stand-up comedy at its finest.

There's also a brilliant joke about the phrase "put the kettle on" which can sound quite harsh, leading James to convince us that we should adopt the way people in New Zealand say it - "Boil the jug" which is much nicer.

Outside of the Fringe, James has written a comedy pilot We Are The Jury which will be shown on BBC Two on Monday 5th September. Assuming that goes to series, it looks like the next twelve months are going tavern busy for James Acaster but I really hope he finds time to return to the Fringe as I'm already looking forward to next year's show.

James Acaster: Reset will be on at the Pleasance Courtyard until Sunday 28th August at 7:30pm

bottom of page