Mad Ron- The Third Hardest Man in Uxbridge
The Box-George’s Square.
Edinburgh Fringe 2023.
Reviewer: Mark Ritchie
A one-star review *
It seems like such a good idea to create a comedy character based on a shaven-headed career criminal, resplendent in long black coat and delivering menacing comedy lines. Alas there are so many problems to overcome here, in my view, if this mess can ever become a success.
Mad Ron does not seem mad, or in any way menacing, but there again perhaps mad and menacing people do not always come across that way?
The third hardest man in Uxbridge is about as scary as claiming to be the third most incompetent home office lackey, dealing with asylum seekers housed on a certain barge in Dorset. Uxbridge is hardly a walk on the wild-side for anyone other than Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London.
Mad Ron is the creation of comedian Steve Lee and I am reliably informed that Mr Lee has been honing this character for almost a decade. Admittedly this time has included a global pandemic hiatus, but by now I would have thought that, if this character was destined for success, Mad Ron would not be quoting from fictitious books, reading tag-lines from the lid of an upturned props case or standing around impassively in the apparent hope of gleaning the odd titter from the bemused folk out front.
A word on the venue, a sort of theatrical portacabin/ shipping container plonked in a quiet corner, it was rather cosy inside. It could even have provided a place to store dead bodies or ‘bent gear’ for Mad Ron and his cronies.
The absolute nadir of the performance was when it finally dawned on me that Ron’s monotone voice really was his own.
No light and shade here, no shock gags, no comic delivery building towards a telling tag-line, just line after line of cliched nonsense.
At the end of what seemed like an age, but what was only 50-minutes, we audience members were dismissed with a curt; ‘Go on- you can all go now’. Mad Ron had by then made it around to the door (or the box flap if you prefer) handing out cards. The missives contained details of his forthcoming nationwide tour. I would have thought the Mad Ron might be better employed burgling a few comedians houses in the hope of stealing a few decent joke books before he heads out on the road.
I would dearly love to be wrong, but I can only opine that Mad Ron really must be mad if he thinks his career in comedy is likely to find success.

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