A one-man comedy club
This article is from 2007.
In this age of panel gameshows and 15-minute slots on Radio 4, a solid hour of stand-up is simply too strenuous for performers and audiences suffering from an attention span bypass. Simon Brodkin thinks he’s found the answer to this thorny issue. The rising star’s Fringe show is based around the simple-yet-inspired concept of a one-man comedy club hosted by a gold-festooned chav with a gob like a blunderbuss. The conceit allows Brodkin to inhabit four contrasting stand-ups, creating layers of mini-shows-within-a-show, before shedding his protective skin and appearing as himself for the final act.
Brodkin is undeniably a gifted character comedian. Every tic and mannerism of his various creations is so minutely observed that it’s very easy to get swept along with the notion of a grotesque open mic slot. The common thread is Brodkin’s propensity for close-to-the-knuckle material, from the laconic American who challenges the audience’s notion of racism to Brodkin’s own eye-watering take on Hitler and the Holocaust.
The inevitable problem with Brodkin’s approach is that, while his creations are precisely realised, some are funnier than others. The ridiculous posturing and inspired ad-libbing of his graceless compere may be consistently amusing, but a couple of the other entries may have less of a shelf life.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 12), 7.30pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8).