How important is a strong look in the dog-eat-dog, flyer-thrusting world of Fringe comedy? Andy Storey certainly has his own visage sorted: this is a man who should never need a PowerPoint demonstration to keep audiences transfixed. Even when the patter occasionally falters during his promising debut hour, you can just stare fascinatedly at his luxuriantly sculpted bouffant and less-tidy waterfall of a beard. They almost follow you around the room, like a pedigree and mongrel, forced to live together.
Actually dogs feature fairly heavily in Storey’s meandering memories, as do hairdressers, herbal teas, exciting new bollards and the requisite bit of saucy business. The vast majority of these recollections are consciously low-key, even quaint; he's in that Alan Bennett ballpark of (mostly) gentle Northern English wit, if you can imagine the absolute visual opposite of Alan Bennett chuntering away.
Storey isn’t in the same league as Bennett, of course—he’s barely in the same universe—and the name is slightly ironic. He doesn’t so much tell stories as mention relatively inconsequential happenings, strung together with the loosest narrative threads. The most dangerous moment here is the comic explaining that his mother often telephones him with pointless stories that peter out: he’s just asking for a heckle that it’s hereditary.
That said, for a Fringe debutant he boasts a style and charm that draws you into that slightly dreamy world, and Awkward should prove a useful palate-cleanser between the louder, flashier, try-harder shows. He’s new comedy’s answer to a lovely calming herbal tea.