Ian Smith: “Crushing” at Edinburgh Fringe 2023

**** (out of 5)

Ian Smith is crushing at the early hour booked for him in The Tron basement, and he makes a meal of it right from the start, mocking the venue’s own thoughts about its legacy.

As for Smith, he comes from the small port town of Goole in Yorkshire, and he’s not about to let some big-city woman make him feel small or somehow less than for his heritage. His previous Fringe show dealt with his engagement and upcoming nuptials. As he’s quick to remind us all, he’s not married now, so, no, this will be a quite different hour. Mostly about stress. But not about his breakup. Certainly no stress in that, right?

Smith’s the type of act who gets the crowd on his side from the get-go, the sort who can inspire a radio listener to post to Twitter for the first time in four years! He’s also skillful enough to not let the venue’s air-conditioning unit get the better of him. Rather, he simply writes new jokes for it, alerting the crowd this will happen every 15 minutes, but only for about 20 seconds. “One thing I’ve learned this Fringe: 20 seconds? Long!” The only thing that perhaps could be longer would be if he carried out one of his imagined act-outs to its legitimate completion. “One show, one joke, that’s the dream!” Maybe next year???

Ian Smith: Crushing runs through Aug. 27 at Monkey Barrel The Tron

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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