EdFringe 2019 Review: Marcel Lucont: No. Dix

Marcel Lucont: No. Dix

Venue: Pleasance – Forth

With the charm of a classic continental crooner in the vein of Serge Gainsbourg or Jacques Brel, Marcel Lucont escorts us through a sophisticated evening of comedy, song and audience ‘jazz chats’ in No. Dix – his tenth appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Backed with a live band (whittled down to three members that he could find after his original chamber orchestra died in a fiery orgy), Marcel Lucont’s dry humour tackles everything from Brexit, Notre Dame, audience conspiracies, wine, and of course his useless band.

Soaking in nihilism, Lucont’s opening musical number explores how the world has taken a turn for the worst in recent years. It is an up-tempo cabaret performance that gets this laid-back evening from Alexis Dubus’ blasé Frenchman off to a surprisingly high energy start. Lucont dips into his amusing thoughts on Britain’s self-destruction through Brexit – something that recurs in further musical piece ‘Bravo Britannia.’ 

Much of No. Dix takes the form of a jazz chat – where soft lighting and a woozy backing instrumental set the canvas for a razor sharp audience interrogation to take place. Watching Lucont bounce of his audience showcases his intellect as a performer with knowledgeable insights and acerbic wit coming into the fold as he is thrown material from his audience. After three particularly bizarre responses from audience members: a game-playing Sigmund Freud lookalike psychiatrist, an unemployed man wearing a black and white jumper, and an apparent proctologist called Spike, Lucont plays with the idea that the audience are toying with him through mind games and madness. His back and forth with the psychiatrist is deeply amusing as he sets the pair up as Holmes and Moriarty like opponents.

After the scanning of the audience concludes, Lucont dips into the ‘Imbible’ a comic piece in which he explores his relationship with wine in a biblical context, the sharp and urgent ‘Holy Fuck’ which has a wonderfully macabre punch-line, and Lucont classic ‘Fifteen-Love’ which pairs the campy sexual overtones of a late-Gainsbourg track with a comic innuendo-heavy coming of age tennis tale. A humorous spot of product placement featuring a rain mac filled with Lucont merchandise keeps the comic tone bubbling until the show’s end.

Marcel Lucont: No. Dix further asserts Lucont as one of the Fringe’s premier performers. Sharp, sophisticated entertainment with astute audience interaction and humorous musical numbers ensure this is a comic must.

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