Arj Barker (2 stars)

This article is from 2010.

Arj Barker

Disappointing gaggery from much-hyped actor

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).

Arj Barker - Let Me Do the Talking

  • 2 stars

Packed theatre? Relax. I'll handle this. You just sit back and do what you do best - listen, laugh and look good. Luckily for us, I've been in this situation before and although it's never easy, it's nothing an hour of classics won't handle! Ages: 14+


1. laurele12 Aug 2010, 2:54am1 star Arj Barker Report

Pluto IS still a planet. Only four percent of the IAU voted on this, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. Stern and like-minded scientists favor a broader planet definition that includes any non-self-luminous spheroidal body in orbit around a star. The spherical part is important because objects become spherical when they attain a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium, meaning they are large enough for their own gravity to pull them into a round shape. This is a characteristic of planets and not of shapeless asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects. Pluto meets this criterion and is therefore a planet. Under this definition, our solar system has 13 planets and counting: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris.

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