Steve Bugeja: Day Release
A clash of cultures as a mummy’s boy hooks up with an escaped con
This article is from 2015.
Steve Bugeja looks and sounds like a young lad. He's got the squeaky high-pitched voice of a teenager going through puberty and while it’s obviously not his fault, it can grate. This all fits his mummy's boy image, though, and he starts by laying down his geek credentials (socially awkward, loves musicals, hates taking risks) before launching into a long-form narrative.
The next 40 minutes is a single true story as somehow Bugeja finds himself driving a criminal across the country. Not just any con but a man on day release 18 years into his sentence (for legal reasons Bugeja can't tell us what he did but you do the maths: 18 years = something pretty damn serious). Understandably, it's a situation that takes Bugeja way, way, way out of his comfort zone, giving us a culture-clash comedy as two people with wildly different backgrounds find themselves trapped in a car for three hours. It's a decent story with a surprisingly sweet conclusion.
Bugeja has gained valuable experience opening for Russell Kane, Lee Nelson, Chris Ramsey and Alun Cochrane and won the BBC Radio New Comedy Award in 2013. He still seems somewhat nervous on stage and slightly overplays his wimpy persona when he needs more punch for his gags to hit with more conviction.
Just the Tonic at The Mash House, 226 0000, until 30 Aug, 8pm, £5 (or Pay What You Want).