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Edinburgh review: Daniel Lobell: Tipping the Scales

This show is searingly honest, says Jane Prinsley. It can be upsetting but it's worth it.

Underbelly Bristo Square, Clover.

    Daniel Lobell
    Daniel Lobell

    Daniel Lobell has been overweight his whole life, fluctuating between fat, obese and morbidly obese. Now, aged 36, the Los Angeles native has decided to do something about it, prompted by the death of his best friend and mentor, the late Ralphie May.

    Lobell is in a steak house, sitting across the table from Ralphie May. Both men gauge on a meat feast, ordering everything off the menu and polishing it off in an animalistic display of human excess. So begins Lobell’s set.

    If the audience came for easy to swallow jokes, they are in the wrong place. Lobell’s set is more like candid storytelling, which includes gruesomely honest jokes and upsetting memories. He shares the most personal of stories, which are sometimes funny and sometimes not.

    Lobell has the audience eating out of his hands (no pun intended). We are on his side and this is life or death stuff. He talks us through moments of severe weight gain and attempts to lose weight. He was signed up to Weight Watchers aged 8, he’s tried everything from Atkins to Paleo and he’s been to Fat Camp.

    After checking into rehab to conquer his eating disorder, it was a trip to Israel and climbing a mountain that finally tipped the scales. In this intimate Fringe room, Lobell’s turning point is euphoric and audience members gasp with relief. He has lost an impressive amount of weight since the death of Ralphie May. He wants to survive and thrive, to live life to its fullest, and that’s why his show is so stirring.

    Lobell’s set is about progress and not perfection, and although his heavy material is sometimes is exhausting, ultimately, he uplifts the audience with his infectious ability hope.

    Tipping the Scales is on until August 25


Edinburgh fringe: Alex Edelman

Jane Prinsley

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Edinburgh fringe: Alex Edelman