Tom Rosenthal: Child Of Privilege

Social commentary, snobbery and celebrity dads

By Jennifer Lipman, August 22, 2011

There are certain things only people from certain backgrounds know about - money belts, outdoor shoes or how much a meal at the Fat Duck really costs.

Tom Rosenthal knows those things - things not every poor, common soul knows - because he is a Child of Privilege.

In his first Edinburgh show, the Friday Night Dinner actor proves that being the recipient of Paramount Comedy on Tap’s Funniest Student of 2009 award was no one-off as he delivers a selection of social commentary, snobbery and personal anecdotes.

The scene is set as you enter the room, with canapés and other luxuries on hand for the discerning guest.

In an hour of witty discourse and pleasantries, Rosenthal discusses the things that really matter in life, from the trials of the child of a celebrity to student ideals and middle class morals.

The son of noted sports presenter Jim Rosenthal, jokes about the media, private education and family life are surely safe territory for Rosenthal, but they work.

It's an intimate and well-crafted show, with nothing left to chance. The odd joke falls flat, certainly, and there's perhaps too high a level of self-awareness. He knows he’s good, and you’re expected to agree.

That said, a show in which a comedian employs ancient philosophical methodologies to interpret Michael Jackson's lyrics has to win points for originality and sheer brazenness.

Just 23 and recently on stage displaying his serious side at the Royal Court in Arnold Wesker's Chicken Soup With Barley, Rosenthal will surely have his pick of showbiz paths. Let's hope comedy is one of them.

Pleasance Courtyard, until August 29

Last updated: 10:25am, August 22 2011