Tom Rosenthal: Manhood
- Brian Donaldson
- 12 August 2019
A hilarious hour that might leave you cross-legged
The high-energy introduction to Tom Rosenthal's latest Fringe offering suggests a man pulsating with confidence and radiating an unassailable sureness. Not so, insists the comedian and star of sitcoms Plebs and Friday Night Dinner, he's actually a nervous wreck who can barely get himself on stage to face us. But by confronting his fears, Rosenthal brings out the best in himself and delivers a thoughtful and often hilarious take on a disturbing subject.
At a very early age he was circumcised by his parents, despite not actually being Jewish, a fact that some people are stunned by: 'have you seen your face and name?' His joviality actually masks a lifelong trauma about this event and he's sought solace in the words of everyone from a clever professor to a manic scientist. The result is a tech-heavy show (highlights include graphics of many blue penises and footage of him on Comedy Central's Roast Battle as he tries to take on both Chris Ramsey and his own OCD) with many great lines and self-deprecation on a biblical scale.
Tom Rosenthal has conducted an impressive amount of research for this show, but the many facts and figures are thankfully heightened by a man whose funny bones are perfectly intact.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug (not 13), 6.30pm, £11.50–£14 (£10.50–£13).