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Nik Coppin: Loquacious – Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Nione Meakin

Full marks to Nik Coppin for self-awareness. The dictionary definition of loquacious: ‘talking or tending to talk much or freely; characterised by excessive talk’.

He's hit the nail on the head in naming his show, at least. But - and it's something of a running problem with this sweet but rather uninspired comedian – ‘characterised by excessive talk’ isn't necessarily a description you'd want on your flyer. Coppin is a firm proponent of the "if you throw enough mud at the wall..." theory of success, which, in stand-up, it makes for exhausted and frustrated audiences.

Just as you wouldn't pay a plumber to merely try his hand at fixing your U-bend, so you expect a comedian to turn up for work trained - at least to a basic level - for the job. But Coppin, ever the wideboy rascal, arrives for the main empty handed but for a puppyish enthusiasm and steady stream of manic patter.

He recently performed in Adelaide and Sydney and still seems to think he's there - every other line is a reference to Australia or Australians and when he stumbles on some in the audience, the show starts to resemble the first night at a backpackers' hostel as notes are compared. Interesting for those involved (maybe) but of little relevance to the rest of us.

Talk of his travels leads into a piece about the origins of a South African football team's name, an uncomfortable segment supposedly stripped of its inherent racism by dint of Coppin's mixed-race heritage. He has made tentative steps into discussing race before but here his gung-ho approach makes it feel a rather dangerous path for him to be treading.

Then there's more chatter, more banter, more grinning. Coppin does eventually make good on the scattergun technique, however, with a solid closing pay-off that with just a teensy bit of polishing would be something more than just excessive talk; a joke, even.

Review date: 16 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Nione Meakin

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