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Pablo Diablo's Cryptic Triptych

Note: This review is from 2000

Review by Steve Bennett

Despite the ridiculously off-putting name, this is a simple three-handed stand-up show from a trio of the more promising newcomers on the comedy circuit.

First up is talented ventriloquist Mark Felgate. But don't groan yet ­ this Chris Evans lookalike has a distinct twist ­ he doesn't perform with a dummy.

Instead, he shows off his vocal trickery in the context of a straightforward stand-up routine.

An amiable stage presence and some well-written material made for a solid set, which always lifted when he displayed his acoustic skills.

Bubbly Shappi Khorsandi takes to the stage next with some enjoyable observational material, much of it based on her Iranian background.

Her well-received set contains more than a few strong lines, though an unfortunate tendancy to stray from the point meant some of the gags got lost on the way.

Closing the night, the charismatic Russell Brand came to the microphone in an elephant man outfit for his brilliant opening routine

Unmasked, though, the material was patchier with oversimplified political stuff sitting alongside distinctly funnier general observations.

However, bounding with enthusiasm and confidence, Brand is eminently watchable and with a bit more polish, he will surely be a success.

To be honest, all three are probably performing a few minutes longer than their best stuff allows and this would have been a sharper show with four performers in place of three (though 'cryptic tetrad' doesn't have the same ring to it).

Nonetheless, this is a good chance to see some budding talents who are all undoubtedly destined for bigger things.

Review date: 1 Aug 2000
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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