Where the hell is Will Adamsdale? This is a question that Fringe stalwarts have been asking since the comedian-cum-raconteur’s last show in 2007 – and if they haven’t, they bloody well should have been. His 2004 debut won him the Perrier and an unplanned extended run after a certain Stewart Lee saw the show and lobbied the venue to keep Adamsdale on for the rest of the festival. After intermittent appearances over the years, and a late-stage cancellation after putting his back out last year, he’s back with Borders, a riff on the title that blooms into a bittersweet reflection on middle-age, procrastination and his ongoing obsession with a certain ad campaign for a high-street bank.
Armed with a guitar, a whiteboard, a projector and a repentant-public-schoolboy charm, he takes the audience through the process of writing the show. It’s a mishmash of self-reflection, flights of fancy and armchair philosophy. In anyone else’s hands, it might seem a little too meta and chaotic, like it was indeed hashed out on the train up to Edinburgh – as he claims to have done at one point in the set. In fact, it’s masterful; a heart-warming and wildly funny return from a comedian who we’ve not seen nearly enough of.
Tom Slater is assistant editor at spiked.
Will Adamsdale: Borders is at Underbelly Cowgate until 24 August.