Tom Corbett: Universal Horror
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Hi, this is my stand-up show. It's short, it's free and it features me. So please come and see my show about the horrors of life, faith, racism and monsters (will contain misfacts/gross exaggeration and lies)
In what feels like a family reunion, Tom Corbett shares his opinions with myself and about eight of his relatives who comprise his audience. Although only a 30-minute slot in a Free Festival venue, Corbett’s Edinburgh debut still seems over-ambitious. He has promise, but he is not quite ready for his own show yet.
He is an exciting young act with some nice, original slants on the popular topics of religion and belief, but he is yet to develop the strength to write a decent punchline. He also needs to display a lot more confidence and conviction with his delivery.
He is visibly nervous behind his faux swaggering front, constantly fiddling with the mic lead and subconsciously crunching the ice from his drink that he sips from every few seconds. He apologises at the start of the show for his family, stating it felt a bit like a school play, he apologises for the ‘awkward comedy’ that is to follow, he chastises a family member for their over enthusiastic applause at the end of the show blushing like a teenager at the school gates whose mother has just given them a peck on the cheek.
But this young comedian has little to blush about. His material shows a keen eye for the absurd and comical, likening Paris Hilton to Jesus in an unexpectedly convincing way. He possesses that rare spark that indicates the potential bubbling away beneath the surface, a certain twinkle of the promise that he will, with a bit of direction and some hard work, develop into a strong act.
Corbett needs to slow his delivery to enable the audience to enjoy the laughs and to give him time to catch his breath and structure his next sentence. He races from one topic to another, occasionally backtracking to pick up a thread that he had forgotten earlier - which elicits another apology. If he took the time to gather his thoughts, the links would come to him and the structure of his show would not suffer as much as it does.
He has a delightful way with metaphors and employs them well throughout his set to great comedic effect again. What he needs to work on is using these tools to lead to a bigger pay-off. His punchlines need some attention but with the writing skill he displays it will only be a matter of time before he nails it.
Essentially this is a very good example of two-star show but performed by someone with a gift, a charm and the capacity to transform it into much, much more. Definitely one to watch out for in the future.
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw