Keith Fields – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

Fields is much more of a trickster than a comic, as even the most cursory glance at his material will attest. His whiskery variety-hall opening line says it all: ‘They say you only play this place twice in your career – once on the way up, once on they way down. So it’s good to back.’

From thereon in, the banter – though playful and upbeat – is a mix of standard put-downs, pub gags and flip asides implying that he has a massive penis. He has a silly charm to him, but the material is hoary and unoriginal. For this, and to some extent his physical presence, he’s worryingly redolent of Russ Abbott.

Still, the jokes are only the thin membrane linking his magic tomfoolery. Here, again, he trades in old standards, tricks that are shared among so many magicians. Most practitioners of that art seem to have accepted that there are only so many set pieces, and the skill is in the way you execute them.

Fields does, however, execute them very well, maintaining a flippant energy that easily transfers to the audience, which he commands with impeccable ease. He’s a dependable entertainer, consummately professional and employing the whole arsenal of stage devices to bundle the audience along on a wave of well-meaning fun.

For this, it’s hard to dislike him, impossible, even. You could never envisage him taking his place alongside the legends of magic or comedy; but as an old-fashioned speciality act in a sea of stand-ups, he does give you an undemanding, well-put-together good time.

Review date: 1 Sep 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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