Alan Seaman: Normal For Norfolk

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Many shows in the Leicester Comedy Festival programmes were greatest hits from the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe, or works in progress for the 2006 one. But for Alan Seaman, resident compere of Leicester’s Ship Of Fools comedy club, here were his first tentative steps towards a possible 2007 Edinburgh show.

And that’s the mark of the best regional festivals – not only do they offer the big touring names and a chance to see the proven shows of stand-up, but they also encourage local acts to stretch themselves.

Judging from this very first performance of his show Abnormal For Norfolk, Seaman has got a lot of work to do – although, of course, he’s got the time to do it, too. Though it would have been fairer to bill it as a work-in-progress in the programme, so audiences would have known its status.

For a start, he’s reluctant to ditch the compere’s mantle, chatting to almost everyone in the room. To be fair, he does a sterling job – and the unmasking of a woman who’s job is colonic irrigation proved good comedy fodder – but it didn’t seem much like a show.

Equally, much of his material is disjointed and superficial, using only a catch all like ‘is it normal to…’ to introduce any number of random topics and jokes. Much better, and probably easier, to decide an overarching theme then start working around it – rather than thinking of odds and sods then trying to work out how to stitch them together.

Still, let’s not dismiss the show yet, Seaman’s a personable chap and a lot can happen in 18 months. Watch this space.

Review date: 1 Feb 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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