Tommy Rowson: Down and Out in Powys and London
Disappointingly mundane and occasionally mean-spirited show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
While he wets the palette of an audience member by offering them a free shot of Jameson’s, Welsh comic Tommy Rowson’s deadpan delivery is dry as a bone. In itself, such a laidback presence and limited-tone presentation is far from a stand-up crime, given that some of the finest comics of our time have sounded like they were about to keel over at any moment: Steven Wright, Mitch Hedberg, heck, even Jack Dee in his early pomp. Yet what they all had in their armoury was killer gags aplenty. Rowson resolutely does not.
But perhaps that’s not what’s totally needed here, as a captivating story about his chosen subjects (drinking, star-crossed love, drinking, crime, drinking) is the major requirement to keep us enchanted for an hour: afraid that’s not happening either. Of course, what every tale needs to keep the listeners hooked is a fleshed-out character or two or at the very least a hero / anti-hero we can invest some concern in: sorry, that box isn’t being ticked either.
Rowson had some early-career joy in new comedian competitions, most notably winning 2011’s So You Think You're Funny, but on the evidence of this disappointingly mundane and occasionally mean-spirited show, he has his work cut out to get back on track. For Down and Out in Powys and London, only the performer ends the show especially floored.
Underbelly Bristo Square, run ended.