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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Tom Webb Fixes 2012
Tom is having a wonderful year and is trying his hardest to make sure the future is just as spectacular for all of us. He'll probably fail. Would the Olympics be better with trapdoors? Might the Government be more effective if it was like musical chairs? Has online dating doomed red Carnations? Where should cereal bowls go in dishwashers?
Tom Webb Fixes 2012
Like an over-anxious party host, Tom Webb greets everyone personally to his show, handing out sweets and eager-to-please banter to build a friendly atmosphere.
There’s hardly any change when the show itself starts. He flits around, talking enthusiastically to the audience with a gentle, asexually flirtatious manner. At the start it’s welcoming, but as time goes on, the chatter ought to subside to make way for some substance, to have some act to go with the compering. But that never really happens.
Well over halfway through he states: ‘This is my show; I’m not just a man talking in a bar.’ It’s tongue-in-cheek, but very telling that he still needs to point it out, as the line between gig and natter is a very fine one. He constantly reinforces the idea this is a happy show, squealing: ‘What a delight!’ or ‘How delightful!’ more than anyone else outside of the 1940s – but it is less convincing the more he says it.
The all-encompassing premise of the show is that the Webb has come up with ideas to solve everyday irritants from people who are ‘bad walkers’ to those who play tinny music on their mobiles on the bus. His gripes – and his solutions – are generally pretty lame. Since 2012 is the apparent deadline for this, the Olympic gets a mention, too, with his desire for a parallel Games in which contestants can use as many steroids as they want, so you can too-easily envisage the scenario that is painted from that premise.
His writing is not particularly strong, so time and again the ever-smiley Webb nips back into the crowd for some party-game type interaction, such as his repeated use of the ethical dilemma game ‘Would you rather…?’ If only he’d asked us ‘would we rather have material or banter?’
That said, it’s actually the audience work that narrowly saves this from a two-star review, as Webb gets a few willing punters on stage for a big, silly finale that’s funny because of its very slipshod nature and the way he works with the volunteers, no matter what the humiliation to him.
It’s patently obvious from this ‘show’ that Webb gets far more work as an MC on the comedy circuit than he does performing a predetermined set – but he needs to know how to build a routine before he can build a show.
|Date of live review: Monday 15th Aug, '11|
Review by Steve Bennett
One of the finest ways to pass just under an hour, this guys audience interaction and infectious giggle are just 2 of the positives that made me wish his thought provoking set would never end. Plus getting 2 of the most miserable guys in the audience into bin bag suits was priceless