Glenn Wool: Viva Forever
- Craig Angus
- 22 August 2017
Room-splitting fare about censorship, Canada and young folk
Glenn Wool demands gallows humour. If something gets a laugh, there's value in it. It's a compelling argument: while many of the Fringe's big success stories in recent years have been heavy on narrative arcs with an emotional core, there's still also something cathartic about laughing uncontrollably. It helps then, that for the majority of Viva Forever, the commanding Canadian is terrifically funny. His early ramblings about UK politics (complete with obligatory digs at Johnson, May and the DUP) avoid cliché, and his appreciation of 'cartoon Disney prince' Justin Trudeau, provides the basis for some excellent gags.
When he moves on to Justin's father, Pierre, sparks fly, with Wool casting an eye over the long-deceased Trudeau senior's eclectic group of pall bearers. His tales of courtship, complete with dirty jokes and dismissals of young people's methods (with their 'Netflix and sticking things inside each other') hit the spot too. Viva Forever does take a little bit of a dive in its second half. Wool, who spends much of his time as tour support for Reginald D Hunter, rails against those who would deprive him of his livelihood (and have actively tried to) because they take offence at his jokes.
There's some interesting areas to explore here about the practicalities of censorship, political correctness, and trigger warnings, but Wool's rant-to-gag ratio shifts quite dramatically towards the former, and to the show's detriment. It's an hour where nothing is off limits and the jokes, often excellent, regularly split the room. Glenn Wool wouldn't have it any other way.
Heroes @ Monkey Barrel, until 27 Aug, 7.40pm, £7.50 or Pay What You Want.