Toby Caldwell – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

A brilliant mime and, by extension, physical comedian, Caldwell is a talent in desperate need of a suitable vehicle.

His ape-obsessed set starts brilliantly and wordlessly as he lollops onto the stage, and into the audience, like a cheeky chimp, arms a-swinging and keen to explore his surroundings with an unabashed curiosity.

Set pieces like this, a finely choreographed Robocop routine and the human motorbike, are a triumph of childlike stupidity, as he gleefully employs his malleable features and expressive body in successful pursuit of the ridiculous.

The only shame is that he has to open his mouth.

Because the uninspired diatribes with which he bridges the sizeable gaps between such scenes fall woefully short. The supposed indignant anger seems forced, the arguments trite and unconvincing, and the jokes virtually non-existent.

It’s a shame, but these stand-up sections dilute what would otherwise be a very funny act. Perhaps he needs to embrace the same sense of the absurd that so informs his physical routines, but if he can conquer this part of his act, he could well become a force to be reckoned with.

Review date: 1 Mar 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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