You can almost imagine the writing room for two-man Best Boy in the run up to the Edinburgh Fringe. ‘We’re just two men, performing sketch comedy! How are we meant to distinguish ourselves from the massive number of similar acts?’
Indeed, it’s a tricky question, and one that the pair answer for the most part with a dollop of enthusiasm and energy. True, there were the usual line up of farcical scenarios and situations, using especially fun wordplay for particular effect at regular intervals, but the moments that stood out were those that bucked these conventions – where ingenuity and a lack of conformity allowed Best Boy to set themselves apart from the rest of the comedic horde. The pair had a commitment to the bit – there seemed to be a consistent and driving desire to, fundamentally, try something new. Audience interaction further garnered a positive, freewheeling attitude that made for some no-strings comedic episodes.
Not every joke landed by any means, and, as previews often iron out, a few jokes will invariably be landing faster than they currently do further down the line. But when the show worked, it really worked – the standout being perhaps one of the most well-planned and well-executed ad-hoc whimsical card tricks ever conducted at the Fringe.
In the densely packed caverns of Underbelly Cowgate, where comedy acts are literally stacked one atop the other, it’s easy for the jokes and echoed laughter to meld into some great giant indecipherable mass. Best Boy makes a stab at getting away from that and trying a new spin on the old classic routine, delivering a promising start in what will surely be a fun and rewarding Fringe run.