- Brian Donaldson
- 25 August 2017
A tightly structured set about nothing other than very funny stuff
Pierre Novellie may have a Gallic forename but that doesn't stop him from tearing into the fact that French is taught in British schools. The logic behind this utterly bamboozles him but it's the mysteries and inconsistencies of life that get Novellie geared up and it helps him perform what comes very close to being a stand-up masterclass. There's barely a word wasted in this hour, and he knows exactly when to dial it down and move on or crank it up to pile on the laughs. At one point in this show, he pauses to allow a gent in the front row to get his breath back after laughing dangerously hard.
Kicking off with some 'strong verb' material, he admits that there's no theme to his show, it's just a compendium of the funniest things his mind has come up with over the past 12 months. And so a stream of memorable setpieces are laid before us with the image of a Budgie the Little Helicopter being trapped in a Clockwork Orange nightmare is just one of many excellent segments.
There's never a moment when you think Novellie has gone too far and overdone a joke as everything has been calculated, analysed and considered to the nth degree. With his smart suit and unbuttoned shirt and tie, the look could easily be finished off by a tape measure round his neck.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug, 9.45pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).