Noise Next Door
Half Indo-Caribbean and half Greek-Cyprio, Mick Mohammed became involved in the Footlights while at Cambridge University, appearing in their touring show Beyond A Joke (2004) and Under The Blue, Blue Moon (2005).
He made his solo Edinburgh debut with the Forer Factor in 2006, and has returned the subsequent four years.
On TV, his biggest role so far was as yes-man Steve in the 2009 revival of Perrin, but his credits also include various roles in Horne & Corden, hit kids' show Sorry I've Got No Head and the ITV2 sitcom No Heroics.
Nick Mohammed: Fringe 2012
Here Nick Mohammed takes the character comedy rulebook and rips it apart, taking special care to pulverise page one, which deems it necessary that any fictional creation should be entirely consistent.
But Mr Swallow is far from. Superficially he is a mild-mannered, easily distracted, marginally feminine and entirely ineffectual corporate trainer, promising us an hour-long seminar on another ‘restricting theme’ – in this case, numbers.
Yet while Mr Swallow seems an affable cove out of his depth but trying hard, ultimately Mohammed cannot hide his incandescent light under this bushel of a man – and impresses with some jaw-droppingly impressive feats of dextrous mental arithmetic and other surprises. It’s an extraordinary performance that’s two parts Rob Brydon to one part Derren Brown.
The show starts as we arrive, with Mr Swallow fussily checking his props and arranging the audience, making sure all is ‘just so’ for the lecture – which is perfectly pitched at a mixed-ability group, but will especially rock your boat if you’re the sort of maths geek who knows what a Fibonacci sequence is. The only lowest common denominator here is to do with fractions.
Still, you don’t have to be Rachel Riley to understand his fear of the number 13, distrust of the concept of infinity, or rigorous analysis of the 12 Days of Christmas and the logistical nightmare the ever-spiralling number of gifts would cause a modestly camp public speaker. Talking of Countdown, Mr Swallow has a go at the numbers round – with a result far from what you’d expect.
While the set pieces are memorable, the joy is really in the little things – dismissing the centigrade scale in a couple of sentences, posing unanswerable questions with misleading wording and appearing slightly forgetful (‘Do I mean orthodontist?’) And keep a close eye on the PowerPoint screen for the occasional ‘outtake’ slide that really shouldn’t be there. This is a show you wish you could watch on DVD, so you could pause such moments to take in every incidental joke.
Talking of detail, Mohammed certainly captures the idiosyncrasies of the only other character he introduces, an accountant who rambles on incessantly. She outstays her welcome, which is both the whole joke of the interlude, and its downfall. Curse Mohammed’s comic jiggery-pokery.
That aside, Mr Swallow builds to a hugely impressive pay-off to a hugely impressive show. You can certainly see why the BBC are interested in developing a show based around the character.
|Date of live review: Saturday 25th Aug, '12|
Review by Steve Bennett
Wednesday 8th Dec, '10- Bloomsbury Theatre
Friday 6th Aug, '10-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2007 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2004 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
No comments are currently available for this comic.
Beyond A Joke
Edinburgh Fringe 2005
Cambridge Footlights: Under The Blue, Blue Moon
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Nick Mohammed: The Forer Factor
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Nick Mohammed: 4uarters
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Nick Mohammed Is A Character Comedian
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Nick Mohammed in Apollo 21
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Nick Mohammed Is Mr Swallow
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Nick Mohammed is Mr Swallow: 2012