Review: Adam Riches is The Guys Who...

The peerless satiriser of contemporary maleness returns

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Adam Riches
Photo by Ed Moore
Published 08 Aug 2023

It's damning with faint praise to call Adam Riches' expansion of his 2018 show, The Guy Who You Meet Right After You Come Out Of A Long-Term Relationship, an “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” scenario. Not only is the peerless satiriser of contemporary maleness and audience interaction svengali well-served by his early afternoon timeslot and bright, open venue, a playbox for his predatory selection of “volunteers”. But the world has caught up with him in recent years, with ongoing conversations about male mental health and toxic masculinity furnishing him with a richer vocabulary of buzzwords to have fun with and broader series of familiar, defined archetypes to send up. Dare I say it too, with the still-handsome character actor a little longer in the tooth than when he broke through in 2011, there's extra frisson whenever the slippery rogue takes on the challenge of flirting and posturing.

Boundaries are everything. Although Riches is portraying a series of broken, hurting, sleazy, pitiful idiots, he retains a finely-tuned sense for just how far he can manhandle his male marks and foist himself on his female ones for his two-hander games of peacocking and negging. There's a welcome reappearance for his muscle-suited creation Victor Legit, the embodiment of the law still, but as a cappuccino-serving barista. On the day I caught it however, the choice of an established if not well-known improviser as his final volunteer made me question if he was a plant or simply studying the master, taking some of the froth off.