Alfie Moore: Laughter Police

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

If Alfie Moore ever asks the comedians’ age-old question: ‘Who here smokes dope?’, don’t answer him. He’s a cop.

A long-serving officer on the Humberside Constabulary, he appears to be the first policeman to realise that life on the beat would provide perfect fodder for stand-up. So this show starts with the time he found himself holding a tramp’s cock, all in the call of duty, and proceeds, in an orderly fashion, from there.

A relative newcomer to the circuit, 45-year-old Moore hasn’t quite decided what sort of comedian he wants to be, resulting in a rat-tag mix of first-hand anecdotes, stupid old-school gags, and commentary on the parlous state of modern policing, hampered by an overwhelming tide of public-service management nonsense.

It’s this last thread that’s the strongest; a mordantly funny look at the euphemistic officialese that dubs prisoners ‘customers’ and asks for their feedback. Such everyday tribulations, as well as the varied tales his job throws up, give a fascinating and funny insight into life on the force.

It’s all delivered with playfulness charisma and conviction (no pun intended), so even when his old-school gags fall flat on their face, like so many ‘customers’ of the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, they fail to faze him. Except for his most extravagantly convoluted pun, which works because he makes the build-up seem so convincing, Moore would probably best advised to steer clear of these cheesy jokes and concentrate on the real-life stories culled from 16 years in the job. Stories, incidentally, that would sit well in a future book or sitcom.

This, the first public airing of his second full-length show, suffers other teething problems, too. The projector gave him technical problems, but he should ditch it anyway, as he’s easily a strong enough storyteller not to need such a prop. The only advantage in using PowerPoint is that it gave his wife/technician the chance to show she’s got a sharply funny tongue in her head, too.

Laughter Police is still a work-in-progress, and feels like it, but with a nudge in the right direction Alfie Moore could be on to a winner.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Leicester Comedy Festival, February 2009

Review date: 1 Jan 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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