review star review star review star review blank star review blank star

Joe Bor: In Search of the Six-Pack

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Julian Hall

Two hours before his show, I lined up against Joe Bor for the annual critics versus comedians football match (7-3 to the critics, in case you were wondering), a game in which he acquits himself admirably.

In many ways he does so again in his second solo Fringe show (he teamed up with Matt Rudge twice as The Gadabouts before going it alone last year) though his format appears to stifle his best intentions.

Phil Nichol is credited as the director – although it turns out that he isn't, and hasn't even seen it. And anyone paying attention would have questioned the wisdom of shoehorning in a couple of songs about an octopus and a fish. OK, they both have  body issues and therefore some link with the titular theme but it's not the most profitable avenue to go down, rather an excuse to show off Bor's musical versatility. Besides, the ditties are so short it hardly seems worth arresting the flow for them.

Nevertheless a packed house at The Tron warm to Bor's gentle charms, softened by an introductory film of a vox pop on what people find sexy, in which he verbally beats someone into submission over whether to prioritise looks over personality.

Faux diary entries – used in a rather too throwaway a manner – and stills of Bor's physique subsequently chart the progress the 30-year-old makes to what he decides the perfect body shape must be, a shape born from jealousy of his girlfriend's manly ex and of his sexy French flatmate, a good character who gets plenty of laughs.

Bor, meanwhile, uses his middle-class upbringing endearingly, though it is often classic Hugh Grantesque apologism and isn't finding any new ground. He allows himself a freer hand with material personal to him, for example his campaigning socialist mother and alcoholic father, who he dexterously presents with a German beer dilemma. Again not rocket science but caged within a genuine contexts it really works.

Charming not challenging, disarming and not daring, this show is no score-draw bore, but, you have to wonder if another manager, or indeed any management, would have changed the result.

Review date: 16 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Julian Hall

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.