Star Rating: *****
Middlesex HA4 7DQ
Edinburgh Fringe Preview Date: 19th July 2019
100% Simon Brodkin can be seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019 from 31st July 2019 – 24th August 2019, 9.30pm at Baby Grand Pleasance Courtyard.
The name may not be as familiar to non comedy aficionados but his face certainly will be recognisable. Simon Brodkin’s been on the comedy circuit for many years now in various guises. Tonight however he was 100% Simon Brodkin.
It’s quite unusual and a brave move for a top comedian to go back to basics and step outside the character that’s brought them tremendous success. We’ve seen this far more frequently in the music business over the years when major artists re-invent themselves from success in a top band to going solo – think ‘The Police’ and Sting, Wham! And George Michael, ‘Take That’ and Robbie Williams; or even more pertinently, solo stars reinventing themselves like David Bowie and Prince. In literature, in a similar way, JK Rowling has also sought anonymity by publishing under a pseudonym. It might seem odd, but I guess it’s a chance for artists in various art forms to stretch themselves and see if they can reinvent themselves and be successful under a different guise.
The witty, sharp humour was 100 % present with echoes of his more famous alter ego as Simon Brodkin revealed more of himself … and no not in that way either … to his Comedy Bunker audience for this pre-Edinburgh Fringe preview show.
Brodkin certainly has an interesting and slightly unusual back story for a comedian. He is a middle class Jew and former NHS Doctor turned stand-up comedian or “clown” as his mother initially called him! You can imagine how impressed his proud mother would have been about her doctor son giving up his hard earned, highly respectable career to go into light entertainment. Whatever the reasoning behind that, the medical profession’s loss has undoubtedly been comedy’s gain.
The audience were treated to some of the behind the scenes of his infamous stunts which included embarrassing US President Donald Trump whilst he opened his golf course in Scotland in 2017 and handing former Prime Minister Theresa May her p45 at the Tory party conference also in 2017.
Amongst the highlights were the routines focused on being a father, in particular his experience of being a single father … albeit for just one solitary week whilst his wife was away. It appeared to have taken this experience of being the sole parent for him to realise just how much effort the mother of his children puts into raising them. Every day. Every week. The spin off for the audience was lots of excellent, self-deprecatory jokes.
One of the most poignant sections of the show was the story of the funeral he attended which made him realise how, like many men, he doesn’t talk enough and delve deeper to make more emotional connections with friends and acquaintances. The lack of detailed knowledge he had of his late friend was emphasised in this routine which I suspect all too many men will identify with.
He also revealed that he himself had been hiding his true self from the public for too long, in character comedy, so now he was coming out so to speak and revealing his true self, in other words being 100% Simon Brodkin. This segment of the show, whilst poignant and funny, also tapped into the current national mood for men to open up, something Prince’s William and Harry frequently talk about.
This was a more reflective, more revealing and slightly more grown up show than we’re used to from Simon Brodkin. The sharp, belly laugh jokes are still there, just based around a different persona. You could say it’s a new character called ‘myself’. Was it 100% the real Simon Brodkin? Who really knows and does it even matter? This was a 100% funny show.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
100% Simon Brodkin can be seen at the Edinburgh Fringe from 31st July 2019 – 24th August 2019, 9.30pm at Baby Grand Pleasance Courtyard.
Suitable for ages 14 and above.
The next Comedy Bunker show features a mystery TV guest – Friday 13th September 2019.
You can book online for either show via the above links.
- Beyond a Joke – Inside the dark minds of Stand-Up Comedians – Tiemo Talk of the Town 26th August 2018
- Man, What are you Thinking? – Tiemo Talk of the Town – 20th January 2016
- It’s Good to talk – Tackling the Male Suicide Crisis – Tiemo Talk of the Town 20th December 2015