Chris Stokes Tells It Like It Possibly Could Potentially Might Be
Comedian weighed down by the plight of his trade
This article is from 2013.
Chris Stokes opens a short, cagey set with the declaration that he's become disillusioned with performing stand-up comedy. It makes for an unsettling start and his laidback,conversational style can't quite paper over the unease that creeps across the room.
His focus is on those irritating folk who feel they have to 'tell it how it is', proffering insults and character assassination under the guise of refreshing honesty. His disassembling of this trait is studiously measured, sparked by an incident on a train when a stranger beamed at him 'cheer up, it might never happen.' As he casually explains the event that prompted his miserable demeanour it becomes clear that recent turns have taken a significant toll on him. And although Stokes is a very young-looking 29 (a feature he dwells on significantly throughout his set), this year he's weighed down by a heavy burden, and he tacitly admits he's performing only under contractual obligation.
When he builds momentum his genial nature shines through and he's astute observer, but he's prone to distraction and it's only too obvious that he doesn't want to be here.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 12), 7pm, £7–£9 (£6–£8)