Romantic Comedy: A Stand-Up Show
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2005
If Terry had slept with Cheryl in 1997 after they read the Kama Sutra together, then he wouldn't have written this show. He didn't - so he did...
It might be ambitious for a comic as inexperienced as Terry Saunders to embark on a solo Edinburgh solo show, where he must compete against stand-ups vastly more equipped for the job. But in conceiving and presenting this hour, Saunders has produced a beautifully written meditation upon love and destiny, which only stumbles because of slight faults in delivery and timing that occasionally dull the comedy portion of the show.
After breaking up a relationship with someone who he had always considered to be ‘the one’, Saunders was forced to reappraise his life, a difficult journey he relates here.
Love is not a particularly original topic for a one-man show, but Saunders appears to have more than enough personal experience to share. The story he tells – often deliberately creating comedy from the sheer desperation of his actions – perfectly befits the geeky, slightly vulnerable on-stage image he projects.
It is undoubtedly an engaging, touching story, and one that Saunders presents coherently, eloquently and with bags of empathy. In this vein, there is an encouraging comparison to Daniel Kitson begging to be made, but Saunders cuts his own distinctive path. The moral of his show is well argued, culminating in a strangely moving contemporary fable.
Although the writing is strong, including one or two genuinely surprising and hilarious moments, there are occasional moments of cliché, suggesting a comic voice that has not quite fully developed. It is this point that stops Saunders from receiving a fourth star, although he is very, very close to the mark.
However, this is a particularly fine hour that is better conceived and thought through than many others from much more established comedians. He deserves praise for that.