I definitely didn't want to miss a trip on top of the Blundabus this year, and I'm glad that I got on board with Luca Cupani. His intriguing set captures much of the old-fashioned Fringe grunginess that the venue – a real double-decker bus parked up near Bristo Square – itself exemplifies.
Cupani is a distinctive figure on the top deck (bald head, ginger goatee, slightly off-centre features – he describes himself as Italian with “a Polish face”). And he proves immediately winning, launching into his second Edinburgh show with conviction. It centres on his experience of leaving Italy behind to try out the show-business life in London, efforts that have made him a contender in this year's So You Think You're Funny? at the Gilded Balloon, if nothing else.
In Still Falling, Cupani sets himself up in a classic role of someone whose opinion of himself far exceeds his actual abilities, proving in the end to be slightly impotent (in more sense than one). It’s a neat formula, and the sort of characterisation that British audiences love; it certainly makes him instantly accessible. In fact, his rambling, excitable delivery is deceptively coherent and considered, as he cleverly weaves photography sessions with dead people and brushes with venereal disease into his attempts to hit the big time in the big city.
He diverts into the occasional interlude that never really sticks on the structure he’s built, though – his thoughts on religion in particular didn't flow, or feel like they really fit the narrative. It seemed a little like he didn't yet have quite enough material to fill his allotted time, and an attempt at improv to round things off fell slightly flat.
Far from the most polished show on the Fringe this year, Luca Cupani is nevertheless an interesting new voice to hear now and follow in future. If audiences aren't falling over themselves yet, there's every chance they soon will be.