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Mick Ferry: The Comedy Final - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

Mick Ferry is an award-winning comedian. OK, so the award is one he gives himself every night of the Fringe, but with so many new act competitions around it’s probably no less valid an accolade than many.

The idea here is that Ferry will perform as all five finalists in a comedy contest, with the audience crowning one of them a winner at the end of the night.

You might reasonably expect him to adopt five distinct personas, or at least try a variety of comedic styles, but don’t take the description in the Fringe programme at face value – all the ‘acts’ are the same beer-swigging, straight-talking, prank-loving Oldham funnyman. This is, basically, one continually stand-up set with no discernable difference between the segments, wasting the opportunity for a high-concept show his premise could have offered.

But 40-year-old Ferry is probably more a club comedian than he is a festival one, and likewise his set itself isn’t particularly ambitious, though it does raise the laughs. He speaks of things that happened in other gigs, stories in Take A Break magazine, the state of his relationship after 20 years, of his frustrations with doddery old folk.

He doesn’t appear that ambitious in life, either and talks with an understated, resigned weariness with how it all seems to have worked out. But he does entertain himself – often with the aid of his sometimes willing dog – with fantasies in his head: from pretending to be in a war film, to imaging the death of his partner so he can get sympathy shags from other women.

There’s no whistles and bells with Ferry’s show, as you feel there isn’t with his relatively uncomplicated life. Straightforward stand-up, straightforwardly performed, with laughs delivered easily and without any greater purpose.

Review date: 12 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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