Pat Cahill: Uncle Len Needs a New Part for his Hoover (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Pat Cahill: Uncle Len Needs a New Part for his Hoover

Absurdist homage laced with a sprinkling of pathos

It can get a bit hot and sticky in the bowels of the Monkey Barrel and you have to feel for Pat Cahill as he steps out under the lights caked in orange goo and sweating beneath a similarly-hued shaggy wig. The colour is in homage to 'Cinnamon Brown', Uncle Len's short-lived cabaret act that he performed at London's 'Talk of the Town' after 40 years of engineering widgets for Rolls Royce jet engines. His career and purpose in life was snuffed out by a piece of malign Swedish automation.

Len's stern expression stares out at the audience via a 3-D print-out of his head as his nephew rambles through this tale of man versus machine, digressing to bring in Mr Tickle and take a well-aimed swipe at recumbent cyclists. The subject matter lends an air of pathos to the absurdist comedy which comes through best in song, and it's clear that Cahill could make a wonderfully subversive children's entertainer. Yet in this show, an early burst of existential angst that's typical of many a stand-up does sow a tiny seed of doubt. It leaves you wondering whether his heart is truly in it.

Monkey Barrel, until 25 Aug (not 12), 3.15pm, £6 in advance or donations at the venue.

Pat Cahill: Uncle Len Needs a New Part for His Hoover

  • 3 stars

United Agents Old new act, Pat Cahill, brings another hour of his confused neo-music hall stupidity to the Fringe. Expect earworms, knee ants and eye mice as he gently impresses you in the afternoon with a bit of singing, a bit of stand-up and a bit of dancing. It will all mean something, but you’ll have to work that out.