Review: Ed Night – An Aesthetic

A messy but compelling hour from last year's Best Newcomer nominee

★★★
comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 15 Aug 2018
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Ed Night

It always seemed a fun story, the way Ed Night’s standup moniker came about. His real name, Ed Day, wasn’t going to work, so Day became Night. Nice. Then you see him perform, and realise that the new name makes a lot more sense. There is something of the night about him.

“I’m not going to kill myself,” Night assures various people along the front row, who respond with the requisite awkward ‘ok!’ nods. This show feels like a happening, something from the early days of alternative comedy, where someone would get up and go off on one about the state of the nation, or the state of himself.

The still youthful Night was advised to talk about his own life this year, to let the audience in, rather than potentially ostracising them with his strident views. And that’s certainly how the first half of the show works, as he muses on his upbringing, class, and parents (both of whom perform too). It’s soon clear that this won’t be a family show, though, as he’s remarkably candid about his sex life and health, and how one affects the other.

But then suddenly he’s being frank about lots of other things, calling out unethical companies, comedy reviewers, threatening to spill trade secrets about certain celebs, all the while prowling like a troubled soul given space to vent. It’s a messy hour, as he admits, and some of the references go flying over older heads. But Night feels like the new breed, doing it his way. It’s a new dawn.