Angelo Tsarouchas: The World\'s A Whore

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

Angelo Tsarouchas is a very funny man. Additionally – and despite what is gangster-style publicity photo and show title may suggest – he is also a very pleasant, charming man. These are two obviously positive qualities for any stand-up comedian, but, in this show at least, his material fails to make enough impact to be able to buttress them.

Although he claims at the beginning to only perform stand-up because he ‘can’t really afford a therapist’, the show is actually far from any sort of personal confessiona. Rather, it is a guided tour through his thoughts and views on contemporary society and culture.

If anything, judging from the amount of material based upon his enormous size, Tsarouchas seems perfectly at ease with himself. He discusses the problems of being so big in several different, occasionally amusingly daft, situations, most memorably whilst horse riding.

Of course, he also makes a few more obvious gags about how other people see him – particularly when getting on a bus or airplane – although his ability to adapt the gag to topical events was both admirable and successful. He sporadically introduces a personal element to a routine or delivers a truly fantastic line (his discussion of his obsession with Shania Twain or why he was not invited to be in the ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ movie are both particularly great).

But ultimately the sparks of originality are too far between - and too often the audience are presented with observations about reality television, Ikea and e-mail spam that have been heard before.

Tsarouchas’s exceptional delivery does mean that this material is easy to listen to, even if you know it has all been said before. He accents his material by shouting constantly, but the constant smile and occasional chuckle assure that he is only really pseudo-angry. His description of situations is often enhanced by a degree of physicality, using the medium-sized stage to its full extent by constantly strolling from end to end providing emphasis to the already powerful performance.

But the obstacle of well worn material is too great a one to completely overcome, however, even if there is enough in Tsarouchas’ performance to make the show enjoyable. You could do a lot worse than spend an hour in his genuinely pleasant company, but just don’t go expecting anything revelatory.

Review date: 1 Jan 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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