Steve Bugeja admits that a lot of people have come up to him after his show Single Mum to ask him – “do you fancy your mum?”
And given that his whole Edinburgh Fringe show this year is about her and her pursuit of love and happiness with a series of men Steve had varying degrees of acceptance of, that’s maybe a fair question.
But no, this hour crammed with anecdotes, mini-rants and gags in the setting of a lovely cave with curtains is a charming tale of admiration for his upbringing.
Well structured, the show starts with Steve’s own recent break-up – which happened right before last year’s Fringe – before shifting back in time to when his parents divorced.
Having lied about his relationship still being intact in last year’s show and not admitting he’d jinxed it by forming a whole Edinburgh set around it, he promises to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but it this year.
A great and immensely likeable storyteller, Steve takes us through his mum’s boyfriends over the years and a childhood of auditioning step-dads.
Every good story needs well crafted characters, and he expertly paints the picture of the variety of men – from Mike the weird frog lover to the larger than life American Jim Bannerman – who flitted in and out of his life growing up.
It’s hilarious throughout, with Steve’s on stage persona and delivery adding to every punchline.
And there’s more than a hint of the respect and sincere love he has for his mother shining through, none more so than during the final few minutes of the show.
This sweet and heartwarming tribute shows Steve definitely loves his mum – but not in an Oedipus way.