Nik Coppin: Stuff
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Fresh from sell-out shows at the Melbourne and New Zealand International Comedy Festivals, Nik Coppin returns to Edinburgh with another hour of audience banter, observations about people, his love of wildlife and Superheroes and stories of his experiences around the world. Brand new comedy from one of the world circuit's rising stars.
Nik Coppin puts a lot of energy into his show and demands the same from his audience. Consequently, its an exhausting hour for al concerned.
Bounding on stage beaming like the oft-referenced Tigger, he races through an audience meet-and-greet so comprehensive that people are divulging holiday plans and sexual preferences before they've even put down their pints. It sets the tone for his matey, everyman delivery, as well as the rushed, packed pace, but it's a little forced. We barely know him but are already being asked to be his best friends.
Where his previous shows have ostensibly had single themes, here Coppin ties himself to a subject matter no more specific than ‘stuff’. This gives him licence to expound scores of unrelated observations and nonsenses.
There's a bit about his fear of giant spiders - and conflicting love of Spiderman - some imaginative material about his mixed-race parentage and a large section about polar bears and sharks. While you can hardly claim not to have been warned, there really is no coherence between any of it, which makes it, superficial.
The flow of banter is slick and engaging, but it's just that - banter. He goes off on the sort of wild tangents beloved of messers Izzard and Noble, but doesn't quite have the skill to avoid getting stuck up the cul-de-sacs this technique can create.
In his favour, Coppin is immensely likeable and refreshingly uncynical. Laughing at your own gags is generally considered bad form, but the musical chuckle that punctuates much of Coppin's material - sweetly nervous and more than a little maniacal - is infectious. For a free show, this is better-than-average, but if he wants to step up a notch , he'll need to add more substance to his indisputable style.
Reviewed by: Nione Meakin