Phil Ellis – Unplanned Orphan

By Ron Bingham

Oh dear. Sometimes it’s hard to review a show and not reveal too much.

This is ostensibly a show about North Manchester’s most reliable comic who received a phone call from his parents on his thirtieth birthday and was told he was adopted. The show is really about how things can go wrong, really wrong. Really Really Wrong. I mean so wrong you are not sure whether he is really this inept and what is happening around him in the show is just a terrible accident, or whether this has all been finely crafted and planned and he is playing a part. Don’t worry, it becomes clearer by the end.

Phil has a chart on the wall, on which he marks off the people who walk out of his show before the end. When I was there it went up from 21 to 24 (there were only sixteen of us at the start).

I recommend this show (without saying any more about what happens) to those who love chaos and disaster, when it is happening to someone else. Try not to feel too sorry for him when he starts begging you for money and definitely stick around until the very end of the show, as you will see the funniest fight scene at the festival. This should receive both no stars and five stars, if we operated a rating system. One of the most dangerous shows at this year’s Fringe.

Unplanned Orphan is on at Underbelly, Bristo Square ​ at 5.25pm

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