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ED FRINGE REVIEW Luke Kempner, House of Faces

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Far more coherent than his previous efforts, House of Faces is Luke's significant step towards the mainstream.

One thing I love about coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe year after year is that I get to watch people grow and get better as performers and after years of working relentlessly at his craft, Luke Kempner's latest hour House of Faces which is by far his best to date.

This year's show is all about Luke's love and passion for TV as he goes through his top 5 shows of the year, a topic which obviously speaks to me as I too spend more time than is normal watching television. But unlike Luke, I can't do as many impressions as he can... if any.

Far more coherent than his previous efforts, House of Faces is Luke's significant step towards the mainstream as each and every impression landed. Rare for an impression show. In fact he landed so well that a guy two seats down from me felt the need to turn to his partner at the start of each impression to let her know who he was doing... as if she wouldn't know!

I don't wish to give away Luke's top 5 shows but what I will say is that his impressions of Craig Cash from Gogglebox, Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye (and actually the rest of the Fab 5) and Rylan Clark-Neal were particular highlights.

If you've seen Luke before then you'll be pleased to hear that old favourites like Andy Murray, Alan Carr, Jeremy Kyle, Russell Brand and Sir David Attenborough are back and better than they've ever been.

Especially Andy Murray whose conversation with his brother Jamie and mother Judy had me in stitches and it just so happened that I bumped into Judy Murray on my way to Luke's show. I couldn't see her in the audience, but I really hope she has seen it!

Interwoven throughout the hour is his recent rejection from the musical Hamilton despite getting quite far through the audition process. Whilst often treated as an aside and a passing comment, Luke's show-stopping, magnificent finale neatly ties up the Hamilton thread in the best way possible. And proves that he really should have got the part.

Much more confident with his impressions. much more comfortable on stage and much more at ease speaking to an audience, Luke has delivered an hour that he should be incredibly proud of and I'm already excited for his next hour.

Luke Kempner: House of Faces runs until 27th August at 4:45pm at the Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Beside). Book tickets here.

(This review was based on the performance from Monday 20th August 2018)


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