Joe Foster: Let's Get Cynical
- Katie Flannery
- 24 August 2018
Lacklustre and low-key set leaves audience feeling flat
Joe Foster's brand of comedy is exactly as promised by his title: cynical. In this low-key hour, the 29-year-old part-time comic, only recently out of the comfort of his parents' house, offers dark and deprecating humour, observing the pitfalls of singledom, teenage angst and British absurdities with a detached tone. Though seemingly aiming for understated wit, Foster's swift punchlines and blunt delivery (punctuated by fumbling pauses between each new anecdote) made for lacklustre stand-up.
And yet, Foster's debut was not wholly disappointing; ruminations on his adolescent brother's 'life's not fair' attitude, and his mother and step-father's quirky food habits win big laughs. Taking some difficult technical issues in his stride, the comedian was reassuringly confident and casual with a small and quiet audience. But with a heavy focus on his own shortcomings, specifically his laziness, it's hard not to notice this characteristic seeping into his stand-up, and without the energy or motivation to make the most from his funniest material, his audience couldn't help but feel they were being cheated of his best comedic performance. Perhaps, with cynicism at its heart, Foster's stance means he's struggling from the off: it's hard to get people behind you when pessimism is your default setting.
Laughing Horse @ Moriarty's, until 26 Aug, 4.45pm, donations.