Edinburgh Review: Rich Fulcher – Tiny Acts of Rebellion
“Somewhere along the lines, as adults, we have lost our edge” declares Rich Fulcher (”a comedian and actor”, he reminds us later). Fulcher wants us to get a new lease of life back by sticking it to the man through “tiny acts of rebellion”, i.e. childish, but mostly legal pranks.
Some of the most enjoyably silly examples include: greasing your hand with lotion to give someone you don’t like in the office a limp, slimy handshake; hanging a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your hotel door that says ‘Please leave the blood’; replying to spam mail with your own phoney story; hijacking show-off karaoke performances and purposefully mispronouncing words to annoy people (”Are you going to the La-dee Ga-gar concert?”).
Embodying a suave self-help guru persona, Fulcher is assisted in his demonstration by fellow comedian Arnab (Chanda) who he tries to undermine at every turn. A highlight of the show tuns out to be the amusing power struggle that develops between the pair, as Arnab completely disregards Fulcher’s authority.
The audience also have a part to play in some ‘tiny acts’ of their own. A lot of audience participation I’ve seen this festival has felt either too forcefully ‘zany’ or lacked any real appeal for people to want to get involved. By asking fun, untaxing questions and contriving a workshop-type environment, he has people hollering over each other to get their contributions heard.
While at times some of his ideas don’t quite reach their full comic potential, ultimately, this is a brilliant stage adaptation of Fulcher’s book of the same name and a better role for him than last year’s flop, Eleanor, the Tour Whore. Like in the much underrated Snuff Box series, you feel he is more at home playing these subtler skewed versions of himself.
The show ends with a climactic ‘tiny act’ video and a nifty trick for ensuring he has a standing ovation – which I’m fairly sure he’d have got anyway.
Rich Fulcher: Tiny Acts of Rebellion is at the Gilded Balloon until the 28th August, at 8:30pm.