[2011025] Rhino Room Late Show

Rhino Room Late Show [FringeTIX]

Lindsay Webb, Dave Thornton, Trevor Crook, Andrew O’Neill, Alan Anderson, Janey Godley, Jacques Barrett @ Rhino Room – Upstairs

11:00pm, Thu 17 Feb 2011

In the past I’ve shied away from shows like this, preferring to see performers in their full shows; with the sheer numbers of acts that I’d genuinely like to see filling up my Shortlist, however, it’s almost become necessary to leverage these gigs as a means of giving the artists the attention (I think) they deserve.

Lindsay Webb was the emcee for the evening, which thrilled me no end. I saw a snippet of his main act a couple of years ago and had failed to be blown away; as an emcee last year, though, he was bloody brilliant, and he carried that form with him tonight. He’s amazingly quick on his feet, and – as befits his show this Fringe – quite the punster.

I’d only seen the first act, Dave Thornton, once before (coincidentally, the same gig I first saw Webb), and thought he was solid, without being exceptional. And he brings forth a few laughs tonight, and no cringes – but not enough to have me thinking “I must see this man’s full show.” But if he’s in town between Fringes, I’ll be checking him out.

After seeing his impromptu drunken cameo in Tony Roberts’ show the other night, I was keen to see Trevor Crook’s standup for the first time. And he is bloody brilliant – completely unassuming and laid-back (yet extraordinarily keen to get onstage, peeking through the curtains during his intro), he just delivers the joke and lets you laugh. Uncomplicated and very funny, with constant references to his gigs in a mosque, a lebanese restaurant, a monastery… and, in signing off, he quips “I don’t have a show or nothing, but I’ll be at The Bakery on O’Connell Street tomorrow morning. There won’t be any comedy – just a scroll – but you’re welcome to come along.” Brilliant, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for him in the future.

Andrew O’Neill rounded out the first half of The Late Show, jet-lagged as he was; he resorted to a lot more of his gloriously silly non sequitur sing-song bits than I’d seen in the past, but that’s just fine by me; he really is a bloody funny bugger. Can’t wait to see his show this year.

I was thrilled to see that Alan Anderson was on tonight’s Late Show list; Jon Brooks had recommended him to me a couple of months ago and, having seen this footage on YouTube (and struggling to understand a single fucking word) I was genuinely looking forward to checking his show out. However, this short snippet put the dampener on that enthusiasm – apart from the great accent and occasional Scottish mannerism, there wasn’t a whole lot of compelling ideas or laughter there. A massive shame.

His compatriot Janey Godley, on the other hand, was an absolute revelation. Very angry, very filthy (more c-bombs per minute than any other comic I’ve ever seen, I reckon), and constantly apologising to her daughter in the crowd for talking about her father’s boudoir talents, she earned herself a place on the Shortlist – topping it off with a hilarious description of her venue. Fantastic.

Jacques Barrett had the unfortunate task of following Godley, and bemoaned that fact until he found his feet. But he won the crowd over with his imitation of the dolphin-girls of Sydney, which is absolutely top-notch material… and he endeared himself to me when, struggling to find a segment to talk about, he called on his friends in the crowd: “support crew: what should I do?” A brief pause, then the reply comes in: “Goldfish.” Quick as a flash, Barrett shook his head. “Nah – wouldn’t work…” and kicked into some other material. That little exchange made him seem all the more human to me, and certainly didn’t harm his Shortlist status.

As I said at the top of this post, I used to minimise the number of these compendium gigs I attended; but if every one was as strong as this one, I’d be seeing a lot more. Fantastic entertainment.

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