Review: Kai Humphries: Evolution – Underbelly, Edinburgh.
Bringing a solo show to Edinburgh after just over eighteen months as a comic is a brave decision; but such is the rise of Kai Humphries that his debut show ‘Evolution’ must have felt like the next step in the development of the Newcastle comedian’s career. Throughout the show, Humphries uses the Geordie stereotype as the basis for many of his anecdotes, first debunking it and then supporting it with an excellently written anecdote on being interviewed for Manchester’s local news and a clever routine on the evolution of dogs that is both laugh out loud funny and incredibly bizarre.
However, this quality is not maintained throughout. His routine on a recession-hit Narnia had the potential to be a clever gag, but it requires more work to make it genuinely funny, whilst the anecdote about his brother felt like filler material. They not only lacked the quality of many of his other routines, but they also disrupted the thematic flow of ‘Evolution’, too.
But whilst Humphries lacks any real punch in the delivery of his gags, the comic’s routines are, with two exceptions, well woven together and his childlike enthusiasm infectious, making ‘Evolution’ an enjoyable enough Fringe show.
A few more jokes would have been nice, but his debut Edinburgh show contains enough well-written (and relatable) material for the comic to build on in the future and establish himself as a top Northern act. ‘Evolution’ is a good start for Humphries.
Date of review: Friday 13th August.
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