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31st May 2018

REVIEW: Limmy’s Vine Show, Limmy

Daft Wee Show

Nooruddean Choudry

May, 2018 | HOME | Manchester

Scottish comedian Brian ‘Limmy’ Limond is probably as well known for his social media output as he is for his numerous other achievements. He is of course the creator of BBC Scotland’s award-winning Limmy’s Show! (all three series currently available on Netflix), and has written two collections of short stories in Daft Wee Stories and That’s Your LotBut what keeps his fans engaged on a daily basis are his rapid fire tweets, live gaming broadcasts, and of course, his Vines.

The short video looping medium may be dead, but Limmy’s Vine game lives on in the shape of this quite novel comedy show. The concept of broadcasting around 600 mostly unrelated six-second videos back-to-back sounds bad. Logically it shouldn’t work. Even accounting for a short ‘pish’ interval, logic tells you it’ll either end up being boring or an unholy assault on the senses. But weirdly, it works really well, and serves as an entertaining journey through a brilliant comic’s creative journey.

Don’t get me wrong – the first five minutes have you thinking ‘What the actual fuck’. In his intro, Limmy forewarns that the earlier section is very much him experimenting with the Vine format. Finding his feet via the belches, gurns and pretend wanking. So it’s all a bit much. In fact, if you walked in off the street, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was some harrowingly avant-garde arthouse film. Like those weird Eastern European animations Channel 4 used to show at strange hours.

But you soon get into the groove and realise it’s actually brilliant. What first comes across as someone’s entire phone contents accidentally broadcast on a big screen, soon develops into a fascinating chronological look at Limmy’s endless creativity. He’s a restless force of nature who’s always trying new things, and constantly partaking in that most essential stage of any great invention: dicking about. Thanks to his Vine collection and this show, it’s all on record.

You see germs of future characters, a gradual self-education of a new medium, and little glints of genius with increasing regularity as the show goes on. One key caveat is that it is probably an acquired taste, or rather, you need to be familiar with Limmy’s schtick to get the most out of it. But that’s part of the beauty. The added value of watching the vine-a-thon at a show rather than on your laptop is other fans are there with you, cheering together at old classics and wincing as one at spidery cameos.

The show ends with a Q&A session, in which Limmy is generous, patient and ‘surprisingly funny’. One couple are clearly rat-arsed, another audience member makes a lewd comment that’s both unfunny and rude, and yet Limmy responds with good humour and fine wit. Whenever anyone asks for advice, he is helpful and forthcoming, but responds with a faux pretentious voice to acknowledge the ridiculousness of sharing wisdom after various clips of himself using his thumb as a pretend cock.

It always feels like an insult to call a comedian ‘nice’, but it’s great to see this likeable side to Limmy’s nature to finish things off – mainly because so much of what precedes it is wickedly funny and often disturbing. It makes the inevitable nightmares more bearable. If you’re any sort of Limmy fan, beg, steal or borrow (or even buy) a ticket – you’ll love it. If you’re bringing a wide-eyed innocent for a date, perhaps prepare them for what’s to come.

One line review: An endlessly inventive stream of comedy consciousness – but one more for Limmy loyalists than the uninitiated.

You can buy tickets for Limmy’s Vine Show at the Edinburgh Fringe here.