Review – Scott Bennett : Leap Year – Just the Tonic at the Mash House


August 26th – 17:55 – £5

Scott brings a lot of credentials to Edinburgh. He has supported Rob Brydon (and as we find out in the show Engelbert Humpeldinck), appeared on Radio 4 and has written for both the BBC News Quiz and the Chris Ramsey Show.

The comedian from Pontefract has had a busy year making the ‘leap’ into self -employment. His show revolves around the two central themes of leaving a corporate job to pursue a dream and the resultant impact on family life.

If I am honest, the start to the show was a bit rocky. Scott’s daughters doing a pre-recorded audio intro was difficult to hear and it all felt a tad awkward. By contrast, the ending using exactly the same technique of using a recording of his waif children asking for people to put money in the bucket to buy new children was genuinely funny.

The pre-recorded start was luckily just Scott’s comedy jet taxiing before he engaged full thrusters and the show took off proper. And like a holiday charter plane taking off from Leeds Bradford airport, you knew with Scott you were going somewhere familiar, sunny and with guaranteed smiles.

Scott in his lovely broad Yorkshire, as smooth as a pint of mild, talks us through the changes he has made in his life over the past year. How approaching forty he decided to quit his £65,000 corporate job as a product designer to devote himself fully to his previous side hustle of being a comedian. This theme will resonate with many of a certain age; how the demands and disappointments of corporate life have led many to wondering if there is a plan B. Whereas for ninety nine per cent of people, plan B of being a photographer or travel writer will be a passing flight of fancy, and maybe a life regret at seventy, Scott is that rare one per cent who has quit his job and lived out his dream.

This genre is not new. You see it in every airport bookshop; book covers with Asian men dressed in Gucci stood next to a speed boat telling you how you can easily swap your life as an Account Manager in Kirkcaldy for being an online exotic currencies trader from a laptop in Bali. What Scott does, however, is something new with the genre. He takes it from the stand point of his family and the effect of his decision on his wife and daughters and creates a cleverly crafted comedy hour from it. There is plenty of material here we can all relate to; from wheelie bins to crazy golf and free parking. His Yorkshire comedic voices  added to the charm too (though his impression of his Mum did remind me a bit too much of Pauline from the League of Gentleman!)

Whilst at times he fell into the doting Dad trap a bit much, and he could perhaps have been less risk averse to interacting with the audience (which he actually did quite well), this was a show that kept the audience entertained throughout. His tale was compelling, and he laid bare to the audience the difficulties of starting a new a career at forty, and the audience liked him even more because of it, and wanted him to succeed.

Overall, a well-spent hour from a likeable comedian who has a warm gentle humour that will entertain audiences of all ages.