Andrew Dipper

Review: Alun Cochrane – Moments Of Alun – The Stand, Edinburgh

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Alun Cochrane

I’m not ashamed to admit that Alun Cochrane is one of my favourite acts on the circuit right now, and a chance to see the droll Yorkshireman live at The Stand had me excited throughout the day. I wasn’t the only one. There was a real communal feel amongst punters queuing up to go in, with everyone having a chit chat with each other. Despite being a big name with TV credits and very accessible material, Cochrane still feels almost underground.

This is backed up here, with snipes at TV panel shows a popular but surprising target of his wrath. It never gets nasty though, with even Cochrane himself admitting he’d struggle to unleash his brand of comedy at arena audiences in the same way his contemporaries can. It gets a big response, much like everything else in a lovely hour chock full of nailed-on observations, surreal flights of fancy and wonderfully told anecdotes. Even one long story about B&Q that seems to go nowhere is used as a base to call back on as part of Cochrane’s own failings, both as a man and a comedian.

I personally don’t think this is the best show he’s done at the Fringe, whether a shaky Saturday gig the night before (which he often referred to this evening) had him on edge, he occasionally seemed slightly flustered and the material still seemed a little new, although this may be partly down to a slightly chatty crowd who regularly tried their best to put him off his stride. They failed however and there were some beautifully handled heckle put downs that were never in danger of turning the room nasty and only served to underline his quality.

Cochrane really can mine the minutiae from the mundane and turn it into gold. This is a stellar hour of comedy that had a sold out room enthralled and almost at one in admiration for a master craftsman.

4 Stars

Date of live review: Sunday 21st August 2011.