Chris Brain: A Better Place
Intelligent Kiwi comedy flattened by misplaced jokes
This article is from 2012.
With such an abundance of comedians playing on the Fringe, it’s hard to recognise which routines are genuine and which are totally over-manufactured. Kiwi comic Chris Brain quietly steps onto the stage and brings with him an intelligent and enchantingly frank stand-up show, drawn and sampled all the way from his Christchurch boyhood to his love of cocaine.
Brain offers not only a flavour of New Zealand’s cultural traditions but a guileless dissection of his life. It’s a shame that he lets himself down with some misplaced jokes, flattening the whimsical storytelling he so finely engages us with. When he fades back into 'the comic', he wears the role like every other performer, pursuing the clever punch line to prove that a joke has been refined and perfected.
Brain is utterly winsome though, with perceptive and inventive material to match; he should keep it this way as it offers something new to Fringe audiences who’ve seen it all before. If he can get the balance right between jokes and funny yarns, he’ll pull off something far more impressive.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 27 Aug (not 14, 21), 5.45pm, £8.50--£9.50 (£7.50--£8.50).