Writer: Mark Trevorrow
Reviewer: Stephanie Walls
Bob Downe’s latest show ‘Smokin’’ is a fabulous, funny piece of frothy light entertainment. A show such as this is so welcomed because the audience are under no obligation to over-think or over-analyse the show they are watching. We are quite simply able to sit and enjoy an hour of Bob’s charm and whimsy – walking away with a smile on our faces and a 60s pop song stuck in our head. Trevorrow’s comedy creation is purely entertaining and a performer who is prepared to be so true and unpretentious can be such a rarity at The Fringe.
Campy pop songs, outrageous polyester outfits and playful banter have been Bob’s trademark for over twenty years and his audiences love him for it. Several people can be overheard telling their neighbour they have seen him before or they’ve brought someone along who “just had to see him” and I think this speaks volumes for Trevorrow’s creation. You get the feeling you could happily watch this performance every single night and never tire of it because Bob’s enthusiasm and charm levels are so high.
Trevorrow has a wonderful singing voice which he cleverly uses to great comedic effect as Bob croons his way through anthems such as ‘Land Down Under’ and ‘Yeh Yeh’. At times the patter between songs can lose pace and you can feel the atmosphere swell once more when the next number, complete with ridiculous dance moves, appears. Trevorrow’s set relies heavily on a playful and interesting audience and there are moments where you can see how something could have perhaps worked better with a different set of bums on seats.
Trevorrow is a wonderful performer who has created one of the most likeable and spirit-lifting comedy personas around. This is his 16th Edinburgh Festival and audiences revel in his cheeky charm. It is easy to see why they keep coming back for more!