Adam Bloom: Entertaining The Thought

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

Adam Bloom is one of those stand-ups so intensely passionate about the art of comedy that he provides the occasional running commentary as his set unfolds, analysing his gags and the response as he goes along.

It makes for a show that's always 'addressing the now', as poncy performers are wont to say, but one that's damn hard to review ­ since almost every apposite comment I wrote down was addressed on stage while I was writing it.

Such an approach also means the show can be cannibalistically introspective, looking in on itself too much, rather than on the outside world. But on the other hand it's a failsafe precaution against writing a bad gag that wouldn't pass Bloom's own scrutiny, let alone an outsider.

And Bloom does write some very good jokes. Should you be unaware of that fact, he helpfully provides a potted recap of his five Edinburgh shows over the past eight years, recycling the best line from each for the benefit of newcomers to his work.

His is a conceptual approach, rather than an observational one, expounding big ideas, then illustrating them with a taut, perfectly-crafted gag. Each joke is thus almost a mini-thesis, often with more obscure footnotes designed to appeal to only an elite minority, rewarding their attention with a sly laugh others miss.

It's all delivered with an infectious, Tiggerish energy as Bloom spends the hour bouncing from foot to foot, becoming increasingly excited by his own material. And his brain leaps around as much as his body, flitting from subject to subject in the quest for a bigger picture.

The material is literate, intelligent and distinctive ­ not bad for a man who confesses to only having two O-levels. Stories about his baby niece, an encounter with an inept mugger or even simply getting a laptop seem superficially anecdotal, but he always sees things in them that contribute to a bigger picture.

His message, delivered out of some obtuse references to an undefined tough time he's recently come through, is to not pine for better days ahead or long gone, but enjoy the moment you're in now. It's a task that's made all the more easy when Bloom's on stage.

Review date: 1 Jan 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.