At one point in Luke Kempner’s latest hour he mentions that his mum reckoned that last year’s show was "a bit safe". That does make you wonder what she thinks of this year’s effort, which won’t win any comic originality awards, it’s probably safe to say.
Not every show needs to break new ground, of course—there’s room for everyone in the comedy pages of the increasingly enormous Fringe guide—but a few surprises wouldn’t go amiss.
Perhaps it was mum’s influence, but both he and sister Sooz start their shows this year by announcing that they won’t just be doing the same old things – characters in her case, impressions in his. But where she genuinely throws out the old format and comes up with something genuinely novel, this is pretty much just another impressionist doing sketches, but with slightly longer talky bits in between.
Some of those impressions are very good—his Andy Murray is hilarious, and has a hint of danger actually, given that Judy is back at this year’s Fringe—but no-one really needs to hear Kermit or David Attenborough again. Or, indeed, Donald Trump. Anyone doing Trump has to come up with something special to make it more ludicrous than the real thing, and this isn’t.
You do sense that there could have been an interesting show here, as several stories suggest a seriously strained relationship with his father, so perhaps the sketches could have supported that theme: Trump has hardly been a textbook parent recently. Instead, it leaves very little lasting impression.