Ed Gamble: Electric – Hackney Empire, London

Reviewer: Christine Stanton

Popular podcaster and panel comedian Ed Gamble is back with his brilliant stand up show Electric. Now a known face on Mock the Week and Great British Menu, he’s come a long way since his days of being comedy’s diabetic poster boy, but thankfully he’s stayed just as hilarious throughout.

The show begins with a cascade of lasers and thrashing heavy metal guitars. While you would assume that maybe you’ve walked onto the wrong gig and that System of a Down are about to rock out on stage, instead, on wanders middle-class Gamble, ready with a scathing rant about the perils of post-lockdown bowling. A juxtaposition of his calm ‘posh boy’ demeanour that works fantastically throughout this loud, high-energy show.

While some established comedians go down the route of repetitive jokes and churn out familiar routines, Gamble keeps it fresh with new material and ridiculous skits. Whether he’s impersonating a 90-year-old chicken, entering the mindset of a Travelodge pain au chocolat or reminiscing about his Spanish spin instructor, his routine is wonderfully weird and wacky from beginning to end.

He touches on the standard Covid material that we’ve come to expect now that gigs are back in front of real-life people rather than names behind a Zoom link, but he still manages to keep it funny and unique, which is commendable considering every comedian has to tread the pandemic performance routine knowing it’s a path that everyone else has walked.

Supporting Gamble is up-and-coming comedian Chloe Petts, who warms up the audience with her laid-back, laddish, observational comedy. While she started out in life as a self-proclaimed bouncer in a ballet class, rather than manning doors, she’s now clearly on her way to breaking them down on the UK comedy circuit. She’s already featured on shows like Hypothetical and The Stand up Sketch Show and it would be no surprise seeing her with a longer feature on a show like Live at the Apollo in the near future.

While the metal community may not have embraced him with open arms, the audience in the magnificent Hackney Empire most definitely did. No need to take a gamble on this well-known, established comedian, his set is slick and, as expected, electrifyingly excellent.

Runs until 12 February 2022 then continues to tour

The Reviews Hub Score

Electrifyingly Excellent

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The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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