James Acaster: Represent

A near full house on a Friday night have come to see the thrice nominated Fosters Comedy awardee at the Pleasance Forth. There’s a borderline cock-assured nonchalance as Acaster takes the stage, but more feels its part of the make-up of an ironic misplaced ego. Employing a touch of feng shui to the only two objects on stage, mic and stool, it warms up the crowd with seamless ease, but it’s the response and gentle cajoling of the latecomers that has everyone’s diaphragm in a full pump workout .

Being one sixth of a jury is the central crux of Represent. It becomes a platform for a rather well fabricated story interweaving between the fictional characters Acaster is paired with. Represent is essentially a master class in comedic craft of set up and pay off. Every line cast out, lands and delivers. I don’t think even in some of the best shows I’ve seen a comedian get a laugh for every time they intended or hoped of getting one.

Whilst a majority of comedians look for comedic observations directly in our everyday sights, Acaster targets the overlooked and employs a forensic deconstruction he can find comedic value in almost everything. The intrinsic nature of how Acaster ties up everything is another craft point that would leave the shrewdest comedians in admiration.

Even when taken outside of the script from some audience members’ distraction, Acaster responds a rapid on the spot creative breakdown that suggest he could easily create an hour from audience shuffling alone and still have a brilliant show.

Represent should undoubtedly have Acaster Fosters nominated once again, it’s too early to tell who are the other contenders might be, but it’s going to take something pretty phenomenal to pip him to this year’s award. Flawless and just a class above.


Chris Aitken


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