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ED FRINGE REVIEW Luke Kempner, Judi Dench Broke My Heart

★★★★

The name Luke Kempner might not mean anything to you yet but if 2016 is anything to go by, then his star is rising and by this time in 2017 you will.


Most recently he has been seen in the brilliant Murder In Successville on BBC Three, doing impressions of Jeremy Kyle, Daniel Radcliffe, Andy Murray and more, and if you were a fan of the most recent series of Big Brother then you probably saw him on Big Brother’s Bit On The Side taking Twitter by storm with his impressions of the housemates.


As if that wasn’t enough Luke has recently filmed an episode of Episodes alongside Matt LeBlanc, will star in the second series of Tracey Ullman’s Show and of course is currently fulfilling a full run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


With so much going on, it’s a wonder that Luke has had anytime to work on his Edinburgh show, Judi Dench Broke My Heart.


The show tells the story of Luke marrying Judi Dench. But at the alter, Father Ian McKellen is interrupted by the likes of Tim Lovejoy, Bradley Walsh and Louis Theroux who claim they had a bit of a thing with Dame Judi.


Which is where Jeremy Kyle comes in. He tries to sort this whole mess out and the show flicks back and forth between an episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show.


Luke is the first impressionist I've ever seen live and I think that's because traditionally impressionists get a hard time, but with shows like Murder In Successville and Luke's sections on Big Brother's Bit On The Side, impressionists are starting to get cool again and the public are more open to the idea of watching an impressionist.


He starts by telling stories of school and being picked on for doing "Opera gay shit" and having trained in musical theatreLuke breaks into a song from Les Miserables a couple of times throughout the show and guess what? He's a very good singer.


The closing song, where all the characters combine for one big rendition of One Day More is a sensational way to end the show and one of the strongest endings I've ever seen at the Fringe.

So how well did Luke do with all the impressions? Well, I feel like he nailed almost all of them except for Tim Lovejoy, Simon Rimmer and Bradley Walsh which for me, fell a bit flat.


It wasn't until the name was said, or the Sunday Brunch theme was played, that I (and most of the audience) knew who they were. But three duff impressions isn't the end of the world. The good far outweighs the bad and I have the upmost respect for Luke as it can't be easy having all those voices in your head and making sure the right voice comes out and at the right time.


His Andy Murray, Jeremy Kyle, Tom Daley, Sir Ian McKellen, Frankie Boyle and of course Dame Judi impressions were  flawless... and then out of nowhere came Alan Carr, otherwise known as Security Alan. A flawless impression which lifted the spirits of the audience and became a real highlight of the hour.


I think Luke is a very talented performer who I'm sure we'll be seeing and hearing a lot more of over the next twelve months and beyond.


Luke Kempner: Judi Dench Broke My Heart will be at Pleasance Dome until Sunday 28th August at 7pm

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