Glaswegian comedian Larry Dean’s Fringe show Bampot, was meant to be about the strength of his relationship with his Australian boyfriend Luke. But instead, with the pair breaking up some four weeks before the Fringe, it ended up becoming a show about their breakup, the importance of family, and general observations from the perspective of a Scottish gay man.
It’s a clever and downright hilarious show that will see the comedian lazily compared by this writer to Billy Connolly, as I have few other reference points in the region. But like Connolly, Dean’s style of humour is one of what I like to call “oft distracted storytelling” – one where a story he starts 10 minutes into the show could bounce back unexpectedly 30 minutes later, something Connolly is the master of. Dean definitely proves an adept comedian of similar ilk, with a brilliant delivery and well written routine that sees him find comedy in heartache, being organised, masterbation and apples.
The show does indeed get crude, but it’s never for the sake of a lazy laugh, and always feeds back into the overall routine. The night I saw the show delivered a particularly hilarious moment, too, when he realised his Mum’s family was in the crowd, right as he was in the middle of a routine where his mother was depicted as sounding like a whale when she spoke. Naturally this led him into a state of embarrassment and the giggles as he admitted we was nervous on stage for the first time in years (“please don’t tell Mum”, he begged).
Be it his Mum as a whale, his Priest bother, his boyfriend’s Australian accent (and his boyfriend’s mum’s posh Australian accent), reminiscing about visiting New Zealand and throwing in a few Kiwi accents along the way, Dean is a master of accents, and a lot of the show leans on this skill to great effect.
As he masterfully weaves through a number of stories, it all comes together beautifully at the end with a poignant and perfect ending, inspired by stories of films he watched with his brother when he was a kid, that will ensure you leave the room with a bit of a lump on your throat; which accompanies the sore stomach from all the laughter well.
Larry Dean has proven in Bampot that he’s a stand out stand up comedian, who can deliver a well constructed hour long Fringe show as good as anyone else out there – indeed even Billy Connolly. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard the fellow Glaswegian do an Australian accent quite as well as Dean.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Larry Dean’s show Bampot was performed at Assembly Checkpoint during the Edinburgh Fringe. For more details, head to the official website.
The reviewer attended the performance on August 24th.