Review: Brendon Burns: Home Stretch, Baby! – Pleasance Ace Dome, Edinburgh.
Perrier award (Okay, if.commeddie award) winner 2007 Brendon Burns is back in Edinburgh for his first full run since 2010 and has comfortably settled into middle age; or has he? This year Burns offers an hour on being a comedian in his 40s, and does so unlike any other 40 year old comedian ever could.
Growing middle aged and grumpy just simply isn’t that easy it seems for somebody like Brendon, notorious for his former days of angry ranting and youthful debauchery, to put it very mildly. This year, we see his inner conflict as he is getting old, toeing the line between still being able to do a good impression of a rock ‘n’ roll comedian and retiring to his fluffy slippers. He has eight minutes on Masterchef; could this really be the end of all the shouting?
But in case you’re beginning to worry, the old Burns is very much alive and kicking. Perhaps dormant during some of the more matured, considered and thoughtful routines but woken up with the vengeance to once again spout molten bile on its target, notably in a lengthy section about his theatrical piece on his dad’s wife, among other more hard hitting subjects.
And it’s that transition from the rowdy, loud-mouthed Burnsy of old to ‘pipe and slippers Brendon’ that makes this hour so compelling; the heartfelt tribute to his father after his passing (don’t worry, it’s not another one of those shows) slips straight into the rage contained within for the woman he married.
Will Burns’ transition to an older, more considered comedian be as seamless and satisfying as it is tonight? I don’t know, but if Home Stretch, Baby! means anything, it could well signify that Burns is about to hit the peak of his career, and hit the ground running.
Date of live review: Sunday 12th August 2012.