Comedy at Festival No.6 - in review
Chris Swindells - 18 September 2012
Canadian Paul Myrehaug (8.5/10) has only lived in the UK since March but his dirt-obsessed tales of the
everyday chime near perfectly with the British sense of humour. The shop checkout and complexing contraception all come under
rapid-fire, his neatly woven gags seem to drop into his lap out of thin air and are all lovingly delivered in a dead pan style
reminiscent of fellow Canadian, Tom Green.
Taking the step to involve his audience, and in particular two young children on the front row, Myrehaug is a times painfully funny and more inappropriate than usual, with every word and concept that inevitable flies over the juvenile's heads hitting the middle-aged crowd fiercely in the funny bone.
Leaving on a terrified seagull impression it's up to Andrew Maxwell (6/10) to turn the heat up on the kids. 12-year-old Charlie is soon in his headlights and before anyone can pause he's up on stage. Maxell's cheeky Irish chap persona is well homed but he knows how to make people wince by running material closer and closer to the knuckle, and if Charlie leaves with anything today it's a new love for the phrase rusty trombone.
After an Edinburgh Comedy Awards nomination, Tony Law (7/10) should be on top of his game, but the Canadian absurdist comedian can't help but test and push his material to new frontiers. The title of his most recent show 'Maximum Nonsense' should be a good clue but the change of pace and new non-sequiturs is a refreshing shock to the comedy system.
Routines on African elephants and Jack Whitehall elephants give us a typical insight into the insanity this performer can call forward. He appears to fumble his way through, though breaking the fourth wall at every step of his journey, he leaves the audience in no doubt who has the real leash on the comedy beast.
If we're talking comedy beasts they don't come much bigger, in height alone, than headliner Marcus Brigstocke (9/10). He's allowed the loudest welcome of the weekend and starts with a note on the village, joking, "this is what happens when architects take acid."
The crowd under the tent may be held prisoner by the rain outside but they all seem willing captives. It could be the stockholm syndrome but they're forgiving of his slightly dated, Radio 4 diluted satire, which takes target at Greece and the Euro, the collapse of Northern Rock and the Olympics.
He saves his worst for a fellow comic: "Who thought Jimmy Carr would turn out to be such a massive prick? Every other comedian that's who."
"Smug, bug-eyed prick" he proclaims, reminding everyone Jimmy came from a marketing job at Shell. It's satire-lite but on a Sunday afternoon it's ideal, he leaves with a few choice picks at todays' papers, comparing reading The Sun to volunteering to be number 3 in the human centipede, and claiming reading the Daily Mail would make Mugabe go "that's a bit strong". Soft targets, but it certainly makes for a near perfect festival set and final stand-up show of the weekend.
Click here for our full Festival No.6 coverage.