Edinburgh Fringe: Luke Toulson

Luke Toulson: Grandpa, Hitler and Me

Reviewed on August 12th, 2015
The Stand Comedy Club V

by Joanna Orland

Luke Toulson lucked out when he found the hundreds of letters that his grandfather, a Royal Engineer who served in the Second World War, wrote to wife Kate during his service.  There is a wealth of meaningful storytelling, history and sociology lessons available in these letters, and Luke has brought this wisdom to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the form of his show Luke Toulson: Grandpa, Hitler and Me.

The content of Luke’s show is rich.  The standup comedian examines wartime political history, social comparisons between people of the WWII era and now, and also explores a heartfelt love story between his grandparents.  While the content is densely wealthy, the delivery is somewhat flawed as the show is presented as standup, while the meat and heart of the content lies in the story itself.

The jokes are funny in Grandpa, Hitler and Me, and the audience is thankful for them, but some fall flat, and some bloat the content of the show unnecessarily.  On August 12th, the audience was a mostly quiet one, even during laugh-worthy jokes.  At the end of the show however, the audience loudly showed their appreciation for Luke sharing his grandfather’s story, and walked out of the venue wanting to shake his hand and praise him for his insight into a time past.

If you’re looking for laughs, there are some, and good ones at that, but this is not the show for it.  If you’re looking for a powerful story of historical significance delivered with a personal and light touch, then Luke Toulson: Grandpa, Hitler and Me is it.


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