Christmas Day in the Vine household must be outrageous fun, as this comedian is filled with more one-liners than a tonne of yuletide crackers. Rapid fire, one after the other the UK’s Tim Vine delivers puns and ‘dad jokes’ that are at times so silly, even the most grim audience member couldn’t help but crack a smile.

Perhaps best known in Australia, for his appearances in television’s The Sketch Show and Not Going Out (both with Lee Mack), Vine is an easily likable and old-fashioned stand up. If the festival had a ratings guide, this show would sit squarely in the ‘G’ bracket. Family-friendly and easy to appreciate it’s hard to imagine that anyone who buys a ticket to this show will walk away disappointed.  

As readily enjoyable as one-liners are, in this particular production Vine has chosen to mix things up a bit via some voluntary audience participation. It seems likely that he would be just too nice to be the sort of comedian who would confront his crowd into providing him his content – as some others do. Instead, upon entry, each chair has a form through which one can volunteer him or herself as an interviewee. This is a wise move on behalf of Vine, as just when the comedic impetus of his one-liners starts to lose momentum he moves into the ‘chat show’ section of the routine.

As this pantomime style of pun comedy is so treasured by Brits, it’s no surprise that the majority of his interview subjects on the night of review were expats. With nothing more than a name and occupation and a single ‘most interesting’ story from each of his subjects, Vine manages to turn the potentially awkward premise into a highly enjoyable diversion from the puns. Although with each, he still uses the opportunities derived by the conversation to launch into set gags around subjects ranging from horses to Nazis.

The Tim Vine Chat Show is probably the most risk-free ticket when it comes to guaranteed laughs in this year’s festival.

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