It’s the most international comedy show on the Fringe, a friendly competition of comedians from countries all around the world. The hairiest compères on the circuit host this showcase of teamed-up talent, the Celtic Nations (Ireland, Wales, Scotland with some Canada and Australia thrown in for good measure) playing against the New Celtic Nations (England, USA, India). It’s a tacky theme half-heartedly executed, but hosts Martin Mor and Bronston Jones bring together some great acts for a strong bill of sets. Lolympics, let the games commence.

This trio of acts ends with its strongest performer – Adrián Minkowicz from Argentina. Minkowicz launches into diversity-styled material, winning over the audience with tales of immigration and unintelligible accents. He builds his material up with stories about performing on both sides of the pond and rarely being understood on either. But language is no barrier here – the jokes are fired off with flair. There are a couple of uncomfortable final moments where the audience interaction falls flat; the segue from speaking about bilingual intelligence confusingly transforms into sex jokes without any clear link and leaves the audience baffled.

Theresa Farlow opens the acts with middle-aged white woman jokes, delivered as snappy one-liners with quirky, kinky angles. No subjects are off topic – from the minge twinge to dead mums, Farlow takes no prisoners at being self-deprecating. The audience are on-side with the ups and downs in her flow of material; some stuttering and pauses leave awkward moments for Theresa to navigate across. But the material is relatable and real.

The middle of Lolympics consists of Luke Ashlocke’s set. It’s mainly loud and brash without any real structure – a stereotypically angry American comedian who gets his laughs from not being afraid of political correctness. Material ranges from beating kids to the possession of women as property, which get the main laughs when Luke adds a personal spin to the gags. The inadequacy of a man to size up to a dildo is particularly relatable to this crowd, a final few minutes that makes up for spending too much of the set just on the wrong side of acceptable.

Lolympics depends entirely on the ability of its hosts to programme and carry the audience with them. The sports competitive concept goes out the window fast in favour of pitting one side of the audience against each other – and that’s fine, no one is particularly fussed about the Olympics slant anyway. Mor and Jones are a natural, experienced double act that don’t take any shit from each other or from the audience. This is a commanding duo that keep the show powering forward.

 

★★★☆☆

Lolympics played The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 until 27 August 2017. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.