This is a very strange hour of comedy. Part of its oddity is that it is very conventional. It’s a guy telling stories and jokes at you, much like a solid 75% of everything else at the Fringe, yet Will Duggan covers some very unusual subject matter – in particular, a set of four imaginary friends. Normal in concept, unique in execution. It’s a self-reflective kind of show. A good thing then, that Duggan has a unique outlook on the stories he tells about his life.
At its heart, it really is a storytelling show, and Duggan is a well-practised storyteller. There’s great use of unconventional language and droll turns of phrase that really enhance the anecdotes. Not that stories about your, not one, but four imaginary friends tend to need much embellishment but it’s a nice bonus. It’s a very honest show, almost confessional, another one of its oddities that helps it stand out from the plague of acts at the ever-growing Edinburgh Fringe.
There are some weaknesses in delivery here and there, jokes that no doubt land better depending on the crowd, but nothing that you won’t forgive and forget by the time next gag rolls around. I find this is one of those times I find very little to say other than this is a great piece of work, a very funny peek into one man’s unusual psyche.
Down to earth is a phrase I hate to use, but Duggan does just feel like a regular guy, a really funny regular guy, but there’s a great sense that he’s one of the crowd, just happy to be doing what he’s doing without pretension and without undue ego. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of pretension and ego, but it’s pleasant to see an hour of comedy without all that at a festival where trying far too hard to stand out and be special is often the norm. Good fun, go see it.