George Cottier – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Strikingly original newbie George Cottier is truly daring in following his own course, from opening his act with an awkwardly long silence, to abruptly leaving the stage when he’s through.

In between, he offers a genuinely unpredictable set, daft and quirkily obsessive, and rich with bizarre non-sequiteurs. His philosophy is never apologise, never explain, preferring to let the unique material stand or fail on its own.

Often, it does fail… strangely unfunny observations or flights of fancy received with the bemused, stony silence that they, frankly, deserve. But the fact he has the audacity to stand before an audience with such paucity of material is perversely funny in itself.

Cottier’s shtick is to mine that awkwardness, his agonisingly hesitant delivery designed to build up an uncomfortable tension that even a half-funny line will puncture. The pace of the performance thus amplifies the laughs of relief.

Likewise, he gets one of the biggest laughs when he suddenly slips into a caricature for no apparent reason. It’s a trick reminiscent of Matt Lucas’s Shooting Stars host George Dawes, and again garners him the chuckles mainly for the suddenly unexpected change of pace.

The style Cottier has adopted is a very difficult tightrope to walk, and he comes a cropper quite often. But when the strikes the right material – as he does with a rather neat piece about killing his granny – the gamble pays off.

He is certainly a bold, original thinker, and if he can unlock the secret of this difficult, unconventional brand of comedy, he’ll certainly make waves.

Review date: 22 Oct 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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