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Michael Redmond: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Alex Mason

Michael Redmond caters to a niche market, his easygoing style attracts a type of audience more likely to heckle compliments than insults. It's always cosy and welcoming, and feels less like a stand-up show and more like an whimsical AA meeting in which  Redmond tells his story while those around him clap in support.

The odd choice of title is pretty much the show’s set list. There's no real theme, and it plays like a more grounded Ross Noble gig, with digressions and asides making up most of the content.

As to be expected, the big laughs come from the one-liners which aren't so much sprinkled throughout the hour as carefully planted at ingenious moments for maximum impact. This is an older variety of comedy with perfect execution and timing; conversational in tone with a unique form but employing a beguiling everyday surrealism.

Redmond sources jokes from the little things: eyebrows and moustaches, excerpts from the Forties misogynistic classic Cookery For Men Only, and the old-man favourite of 'things we didn't have back when I was young'. It's all classic observational stuff, but you don't go to this kind of gig for daring originality you go for the wordplay and masterful ability to work a room.

The set ends with a short video of Redmond taking his mannequin to a restaurant. Deadpan surrealism at its finest, it descends into a clever string of visual callbacks to things mentioned in the set.

Nobody could call the hour hilarious, but it's entertaining;  refreshingly and unashamedly tame, performed by a master craftsman. This may be more lazy river than whitewater rafting but Redmond knows how to please his audience.

Review date: 20 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Alex Mason
Reviewed at: Gilded Balloon

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