Disappointing gaggery from much-hyped actor
This article is from 2010.
At the top of the show, Arj Barker promises fresh material, points out the contemporary fashion for honesty and vulnerability in comedy, and (whether fairly or not) has drawn a sell-out crowd due to being Dave from Flight of the Conchords. Sounds good, yes? Then the jokes start and the promise evaporates. There’s nothing revolutionary in gags about Pluto not being a planet any more, porn DVD titles being similar to real film titles or Nigerian internet scams. With no clever twists or added dimensions he may as well be riffing about airplane food.
Pedestrian material can be elevated by delivery but this too was misjudged. Stumbling over words and a weird mic technique in which lines were alternately spoken into the microphone and shouted unamplified contributed to an uncharismatic performance. What may have made for a passable 20-minute set in a comedy club fell far short of a Fringe show. There are many, many great acts this year who didn’t star in a hit HBO series. Go see one of them.
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 29 Aug, 9.20pm, £12–£14 (£11–£13).