Terry Saunders – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Charmingly mild-mannered Terry Saunders stretches the definition of what a stand-up should be – which could be good news or bad, depending on your expectations.

He’s much more of a storyteller than a raucous gagsmith; with absorbing yarns that are endearingly amusing in a low-key way rather than laugh-out-loud funny. There is a smattering of witty lines in the telling, and he certainly knows his way around the English language, ensuring a sweetly entertaining experience sure to raise a warm smile. But belly-laughs? Forget it.

It will come as no surprise given his soft, low-key delivery that Saunders doesn’t see himself as an alpha-male, and many of his anecdotes have him dealing – usually ineptly - with a world that expects him to behave that proscribed masculine way, from his encounter with the savvy storekeeper in the DIY stop to going on a first date.

But this bearded, becardiganed outsider is a romantic at heart, rather like his obvious inspiration Daniel Kitson, and there is a warm, poetic wanting for the world to be a better place at the heart of almost all his material: even the bit about his obviously racist dad.

Saunders is certainly a skilful exponent of beguiling, whimsical comedy. It’s a sub-genre that’s certainly in vogue, and if you like your stand-up this way, he won’t disappoint. But for a riot of hard-hitting laughs, you’d probably be best advised to look elsewhere.

Review date: 18 Nov 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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