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Tiernan Douieb: 28 Years Later - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Julian Hall

That his audience are in a soporific state cannot be blamed on this chirpy comic who has to battle a little to keep their afternoon alive. Delhi Belly is not the stuffiest room on the Fringe by any means, but a sunny day outside has had a drowsing effect on the assembled.

However, while the stocky Douieb, who facially could be likened to an unholy merging of Ricky Gervais, Hal Cruttenden and Nick Frost, performs ably; his sometimes cute and clever puns and wordplay are not quite going to raise the Roof or the bar. At least not today.

The theme is a familiar ‘what have I achieved in my life?’, a constant nagging doubt common to many performers and, of course, the answer for which is straight in front of them. The knowing title of the show, meanwhile, allows Douieb to make some zombie references and it’s intriguing how much zombies have become a touchstone for current twenty-somethings.

While zombies, and an initially zombified audience, are the order of the part of the afternoon the turnover of subject matter generally, from self-deprecation about his height or his name to worrying about his lack of political activism, means that Douieb achieves the necessary buoyancy to carry his show through. Some of his jokes do deserve better laughs, no doubt. He also pioneers the wok as a slapstick tool, so all is not lost.

At the very worst it’s an easy, unchallenging afternoon; at best it shows that there is a simmering hope for something better next year.

Review date: 13 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Julian Hall

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