Alistair Green: Nobody's Twisting Your Arm
Thin material from self-confessed loser at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
It’s ironic that comedians often become rich, overpraised successes by playing the hapless, dateless, penniless non-starter. Alistair Green peddles the line of self-confessed loser and outsider who ‘used to have hope’, and he certainly lays out a varied smorgasbord of flaws for the audience as he details his ‘own pitiful shortcomings as a human being’.
In Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm, nothing is too disgusting, menial or shameful to admit to, including bodily functions, debt, call centre work and a lack of romantic interaction. On his blog, Green stated that good comedy comes from ‘the shortfall between what is expected of you and what you actually achieve: a comfort blanket for everyone who’s ever failed or lost.’
But while the weaknesses-ultimately-as-strengths tack can prove a fine thread with which to weave a great stand-up routine, the material here often proves just too thin. Observational lines such as one about the lifespan of basil plants miss the target; perhaps it’s a deliberate move but if so, then it failed to miss its target widely enough. Green’s set needs to push boundaries more effectively to be in any way subversive.
The Stand III & IV, 558 7272, until 24 Aug, 8.10pm, £8 (£7).