Pat Cahill: Uncle Len Needs a New Part for his Hoover
- Tom Bruce-Gardyne
- 12 August 2019
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.