Edinburgh Comedy: Des Bishop mixes tears with laughter

The Evening Standards Bruce Dessau went along to Des Bishops show. Read on the find out what his impressions were.

‘My Dad Was Nearly James Bond’


Some people queuing for Des Bishop thought they had bought tickets for Liverpool superstar John Bishop. Despite the confusion I doubt if they were disappointed.

This Irish-American’s show is one of the most powerful on the Fringe, packing both an emotional wallop and a heap of laughs.

My Dad Was Nearly James Bond launches with Bishop explaining how his devilishly handsome father Mike was a whisker away from landing the movie that went to George Lazenby. Instead he bagged a licence to be a bit-part actor — the back of his head had a pivotal role in Day of the Triffids — but sacrificed his own ambitions to raise his family. Recently however, Bishop Snr was diagnosed with terminal cancer. This monologue is both a tribute to him and a wider reflection on the complexity of parenthood.

The result is a crisp piece of comedy theatre. Film footage complements anecdotes as Bishop Jnr, similarly cool in a tuxedo, recalls the shifting power balance in his chaotic clan. Along the way there are umpteen snappy asides about Bishop’s own testicular cancer, his drink-fuelled youthful misbehaviour and his discovery that his perfect parent was mortal. A great hour with a sublime finale that leaves you with a lump in your throat and a smile on your face.

Until August 29. Information: 0131 226 0000, www.edfringe.com

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