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Edinburgh Fringe review: Jack Barry’s Alien delivers a hilarious and timely message of acceptance

© James DeaconComedian Jack Barry
Comedian Jack Barry

It’s a tight squeeze in the Banshee Labyrinth’s Cinema Room as Jack Barry takes to the stage.

One of the many free shows on offer at the Edinburgh Fringe, the stand-up’s evening show has been packed almost every night.

And in a solid, clever and above-all hilarious set, Jack leaves everyone in stitches while also delivering a very timely message about acceptance.

Dressed all in yellow – like a grown-up version of the sun baby from the Teletubbies, he points out – he arrives on stage and immediately admits that he’s forgotten to bring his laptop to play the intro video.

As a producer is dispatched to fetch the laptop for the finale, Jack gets on with the show and immediately comes across as an immensely likeable and hilarious performer.

Jack is no fan of borders, and the self-confessed “pot-smoking hippie” uses the show to question why we sometimes have negative feelings towards immigrants.

Titled Alien, the show is centred around Jack’s girlfriend Martina (from Argentina) and her life as an immigrant in the UK. It also reflects on Jack’s own time as an ‘alien’, when he lived in China in his early years.

Packed with warm and funny tales from Jack’s childhood acting career to the perils border control can cause a relationship, we also discover Jack once rose to the rank of colonel (well, he played the role as social media guru for KFC) and also almost became a spy.

Luckily, the laptop arrives in time for the big finale, and it certainly lives up to the hype.

This is a terrific show – well worth being a little bit squashed for.