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Tom Allen: Women! - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Corry Shaw

Even having never previoulsy seen him before it is immediately obvious that Tom Allen is not going to be providing a roguish, misogynistic show about women, given that a large bunch of lilies scent the room as the crowd filters in.

Allen is a positively droll gay guy who has dedicated this years show to all the women he has loved (not in that way) and he takes us on a meandering journey through his past. And this is definitely a gentle stroll rather than a romp, despite the fact there could be some rather dark comedy fodder hidden in the fluff. There are tales of school bullies forcing him to he their boyfriend and a tempting tale about his mother’s friend whose husband left her for a hooker.

But Allen never seems to want to stray away from the surface, the comedy never scratches the fabulous sheen and everything ends up rather unsurprising and uninspiring. This is not to detract from the fact that Allen is an accomplished anecdotalist, he weaves a rather enchanting spell with the timbre of his voice and the warmth of the room having a soporific effect.

Cozy and comforting. The safeness of the content assuring you that there is little that could go horribly wrong or push any boundaries.

It is a gently entertaining retrospective from a very charming host and I can see a future for Allen in light entertainment, and good luck to him. It is perhaps braver to stick to safe and comforting than it is to push boundaries in an industry where the press and public can clamour for new outrage.

Review date: 23 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw

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