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Neil Edmond: Knocker
Neil McFarlane: A Distinct Possibility
Nelly Thomas: Family Ties
NewsRevue 2006:Pirates of the Cabinet
Nicholas Parsons Happy Hour
Nick Doody: Before He Kills Again
Nick Mohammed: The Forer Factor
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No One Has Ever Complained Before
Neil Edmond: Knocker
As International Query Board UK's only long-serving door-to-door interviewer, Neil Edmond - armed with a broken clipboard, puny incentives, inappropriate footwear and an unflagging commitment to the Market Researcher's Code Of Conduct - must persuade a hostile public to part with their precious opinions.
Every day in Edinburgh Neil will be doing four hours of actual door-to-door market research in the suburbs and sinkholes of Edinburgh, before walking, bussing or lugging his way back to Zoo Southside in time to report his findings to an audience who will - with the help of a big map of Edinburgh - determine where Neil goes the next day, what questions he has to ask, and who he has to find to fill his quota. They are unlikely to be kind.
Ever started to complete a survey and then got bored halfway through because it becomes more involved and tedious than you first thought? (a) often, (b) sometimes, or (c) never?
Well, if it's (a) or (b), you'll know what it's like to watch Neil Edmond's show: a promising idea that gets so wrapped up in its internal red tape that the point to have a bit of fun - is long lost.
The premise is that his character, dressed geekily in a sweatshirt bearing the message Your Opinion Counts with the final 'O' unfortunately missing, is a market researcher, knocking door-to-door to canvas opinion, a job with which Edmond has first-hand experience.
It's not the most appealing of characters, being so analytical and mechanical, yet Edmond bases the entire hour on audience interaction with this tedious creature, who you'd normally spend time trying to avoid. The character has the obligatory dark background in an attempt to make him appear more interesting, but it's only dressing.
Edmond tries to shape the show according to the responses to his ceaseless questionnaires; constructing, for example, an complicated, lengthy joke out of our preferences. But it's naturally not funny in keeping with the character, I guess and pulling off such a poor routine is too much for Edmond to pull off.
The main gimmick is that he genuinely goes out on to the streets of Edinburgh every y to conduct a ridiculous survey that the audience concocts for him. I guess it's as fruitful as flyering in raising attention for his show.
The only problem is that it takes an eternity to construct all the questions from multiple-choice options and all this for a stunt that we're never going to see the result of. We don't even see the result of earlier surveys in the run. It's heavily dependent on the audience, and it wasn't the liveliest bunch on the night Chortle was in, but it's just a hell of a lot of paperwork to be done when you've come out for jokes.
There are a few nice touches, such as the ranty song he sings in a bid to generate some enthusiasm, and Edmonds comes across as a nice enough bloke. But overall, Knocker has been ill-thought out, making it a wasted opportunity.
Is it hilarious? Brilliant? A must-see? No, it only ticks the box marked 'none of the above'.
Unbelievably awful. It's not funny. It's not clever. It's embarassing. And a waste of an hour. I certainly laughed, but only from the dreaded embarassment of being in such close proximity to this poor deluded man.
The show is adorable and earnest. The disorganisation and flaws of it are lovely consequences of the character's misgivings, I thought. With a larger, more responsive crowd this could be genuinely fantastic; as it is, its lovely and inventive and for its desparation to please and quirkiness as an idea it should be heavily credited and applauded.
Don't listen to Steve Bennett frankly. Knocker is a great show; brave and perhaps rash but really really good fun. Neil Edmond is truly great but has a tendency to induce choking. A young boy nearly died the night I saw it. Yes, really.
Review is no way matches the show I saw, although I can imagine it changes day to day. I had no preconceptions coming into it, but found myself laughing uproariously despite it being an odd room for comedy, with a small crowd of about 15. Sadly, my Edinburgh trip is over for this year, but I would love to see this show again
One of the bravest shows I have seen this year - seemed mostly improvised. Entirely dependent on the audience - but that is the point of the show methinks. Some nights will be brilliant others awful - I saw something inbetween and was left slightly in awe of the man.