Trevor Lock: Fringe 2012
Trevor Lock made his Edinburgh Fringe debut 13 years ago, but in many ways he still seems like a new comic making mistakes, but with some promise. That promise is taking a long time to blossom.
He talks nonsense for an hour, in a never-ending stream of consciousness that takes endless, frustrating diversions. His main trick is to say something vaguely ambiguous, then effectively say ‘no, no, I don’t mean that possible second meaning which, given the context no one was thinking anyway’ and spin off into increasingly unrewarding, irrelevant tangents.
A similarly annoying tic is to run through half a dozen variants of lines, as if he got it wrong first time, but battering the joke to death: ‘My grandfather married a mermaid, no a barmaid, no a barstool, no a rocking chair…’ Cue a short routine about proposing to a rocking chair.
It seems he’s afraid of sincerity; or even of sticking his own story – a story which is basically about how he starting thinking about the practicalities of home-made sex tapes after a naked French man approached him and his girlfriend with an indecent proposal while they were holidaying on a nudist beach in the Riveria.
Lock has plenty of ideas where you might think: ‘There could be something in that…’ – such as his philosophical thoughts on self-image of his alternate version of the Butterfly Effect – but he rarely explains the notions particularly well, or in a particularly funny way. By the end of the hour, you sort of see what he was trying to say, but rarely while he’s actually saying it.
He’s apologetic about some of his material – as rightly should be – complains about his room in the Hive and grumbles that there aren’t more of us here, all of which put further dampers on an already tenuous situation.
He never convinces us to come with him on his more surreal pathways, so find himself wibbling on about a man with a basket for a penis to general apathy – and that’s not the sort of thing that works unless your audience totally believe in you.
Lock has supported Stewart Lee and Russell Brand – on whose radio show he was the regular sidekick – and that 1999 Fringe show was a three-hander alongside Daniel Kitson and Andrew Maxwell. He’s certainly got his work cut out if he’s to catch up with any of them.