Barry Ferns: Barry Loves You
- Craig Angus
- 22 August 2018
Cathartic show is a tribute to live comedy and the importance of sharing
Barry Ferns greets you with a firm handshake and sends you back into the world with a hug. A warm end to this rollercoaster of a gig about both the joy and necessity of communication and love, the show is also a tribute in itself to live comedy. In Barry Loves You, Ferns talks about the importance of bringing people together in a room to share their experiences, before discussing his own family trauma, which understandably he needs to talk about. Bottling feelings leads to extreme emotional reactions: Ferns would rather find the words.
The show has been hastily given a rewrite due to complications around its multimedia content and, occasionally, you can tell: a few of the audio cues are incongruous with what Ferns is saying. He spends a lot of time putting his compering skills to use too, having the craic with the audience, and while he's in his element doing that, it does feel like he might be running the clock down.
There are some great moments in Barry Loves You, which tonight feels like a very good work-in-progress. His thoughtful look at how context, both personal and generational, impacts the way we see the world is particularly rewarding when he revisits it later in the show. I'd love to see this tightened up (perhaps as it was intended) but for now it's a poignant hour from a man dedicated to comedy.
Just the Tonic at The Tron, until 26 Aug, 9pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.