James McNicholas: The Boxer
Pleasance Courtyard (Bunker Two)
31st July – 25th August (not 14th)
Character comedian James McNicholas (one third of acclaimed sketch group BEASTS), makes his fiercely anticipated solo debut as The Boxer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
James’ grandad, Terry Downes, became world middleweight champion in 1961. By contrast, James’ school PE teacher once told him he was so unfit he’d be dead by the time he was 23. This is a debut show about a comeback – a true story about boxing told by someone who’s never boxed (his glasses would come off, for a start).
In the red corner, we have the world champion, a tough cockney rogue who served in the US marines before embarking on his professional career. In the blue corner, the challenger: a privately educated actor, comedian and former call-centre worker with a reputation for being accident prone. Bringing together physical character comedy and stand up, James McNicholas takes his audiences on a hilarious, nostalgic journey weaving together a self-deprecating personal narrative and a dramatised tale of the audacious man he called simply ‘Pop’. James might not have the right (or left) hook to continue his grandfather’s sporting dynasty, but he’s determined to prove himself with this knockout show.
James McNicholas is one of the stars and writers of the BBC’s Horrible Histories and has also appeared in Drunk History (Comedy Central), The Reluctant Landlord (Sky) and @Elevenish (ITV2). In 2017, his video Got Enough Holiday Memories??? went viral, quickly racking up over 1.5million views. He has followed that up with the popular ‘The Man Who’ series of online sketches. Best known to football fans as the creator of Gunnerblog, James has written about football for the likes of The Athletic, ESPN, FourFourTwo, Mirror Football and CNN.
James has previously performed at the Edinburgh Fringe as one third of critically acclaimed sketch group BEASTS alongside Owen Roberts and Ciaran Dowd. BEASTS have made numerous appearances on BBC Radio 4’s Sketchorama, been named as one of the Amused Moose Comedy Award’s Top Ten 2014 and was placed among the top reviewed comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 and 2015. Some of their sketches as well as their short film ‘Man Band’ (written by James McNicholas and Matt Roberts) can be found on their youtube channel.
The Boxer is directed by Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Tom Parry.