Bob Downe . . . Smokin'
Style over substance
This article is from 2012.
From the minute he pirouettes onto stage all 70s gear, mega-watt grin and fake blonde hair, it’s clear Aussie’s ‘clown prince of polyester’ is having a ball, as he knocks out one karaoke hit after another and embarks on some name-that-tune competitions. The title of this show, Smokin’, is somewhat questionable for a gig that relies more on face-pulling, prancing and popular tunes than it does any sort of inspired comedy material; but Downe cares not.
Diehard fans enjoy the catchier numbers and certainly our host has a decent pair of pipes on him as he veers from one crowd-pleaser to another.
Jokes about the Olympics, the trams and his penis reduction seem shoehorned into the show, while Downe’s spread-eagled arms after every song or audience encounter garners applause after applause – even if the crowd isn’t quite sure what they’re cheering for.
That aside, Downe is a consummate, energetic performer of a show that while amusing packs no real comedy punch.
Gilded Balloon, 0131 622 6552, until 26 Aug (not 23), £14 (£12.50)