Writer: Alistair McGowan
Reviewer: Laura Hibbert
Alistair McGowan – arguably one of Britain’s most celebrated impressionists performs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the twelfth year, and does not disappoint, with an hour of unfeasibly accurate impersonations in his stand-up show for 2016, 12th Impressions.
Warming up the audience with light-hearted chatter, he swiftly and effortlessly slips in and out of impersonating many of his comedian peers in a casual and conversational style. From John Bishop to Jo Brand, Hugh Porter to Mo Farrah, and even the cast of Dads Army, McGowan brilliantly impersonates the biggest names and most recognisable voices in sport, entertainment and politics – while keeping the content current and engaging.
McGowan’s passion for impressions and fascination for the English language shines through in much of this work. The show discusses how language is influenced throughout each generation and gives the audience an insight to the unique accents and dialects of the British nation – while keeping them chuckling away in their seats.
Stepping away from impersonations, McGowan briefly speaks about his career and touches on his television success – going from performing to an audience of eight million on The Big Impression(one of BBC1’s top-rating comedy programmes – winning numerous awards, including a BAFTA in 2003), to performing, smaller but still packed houses, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Although clearly thankful for his achievements, it was refreshing to see a few moments of the real and honest McGowan: A man who questions himself just like anyone does – but a man who can do an Andy Murray impression, better than anyone can.
Runs until 28 August 2016 | Image: Clare Park