Conor O’Toole's Manhood
Clever and witty writing let down by clumsiness at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
‘It’s quite difficult to fill a show at noon,’ says Conor O’Toole, ‘when apparently a lie-in is the best free show on the Fringe'. Luckily for him, the pillow troupe and duvet ensemble appeared to have been let out early, with the fundamentally likeable Irish comedian easily packing out the house.
Those early birds are largely well-rewarded for their time, though O’Toole’s endearing yet awkward delivery makes for occasionally uneasy viewing. In a fast-paced Fringe, there isn’t a lot of patience for comedians who forget their place, fumble about the stage trying to find that Geronimo quote they were hoping to read from, or simply lose their train of thought when the man on the front row clambers over the stage to get to the nearest bathroom.
These moments are frustrating, as his writing is excellent, and he has the potential to be a strong stand-up force. His jokes are as well-woven together as the woollen hats he knits in his spare time, and there is an immense amount of potential for this comedian to develop his set into something special. With less hesitation and a little more polish and conviction behind his genuinely funny observations, this would be an early afternoon show well worth getting out of bed for.
St John’s, 226 0000, until 25 Aug, noon, free.