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Eric's Laws Of The Land

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Affable Eric won quite some acclaim for his Tales Of The Sea, a storytelling show about his time as a submariner. But, just like a penguin, he’s a lot more unsteady on dry land.

Laws Of The Land is, ostensibly, about laws he’d like passed – though, in reality, it’s just a list of gripes about things that get his goat. And what an unimaginative list of easy targets that is: stone cladding, Britain’s Got Talent, men with odd facial hair, footballers who dive. Rarely is there any bite behind these ideas, instead we get a selection of Google Image search results about stone cladding, facial hair etc –and invited to laugh at the silly pictures.

Towards the end, he asks the audience to fill in surveys about laws we would like to see passed – thus providing a ready-made segment for tomorrow’s show when he will read them out. The temptation to write ‘No more Fringe shows that rely on lazy PowerPoint presentations’ is huge.

He started the hour with one eye on the theme, suggesting, for example, suitable legal penalties for relatives who buy crap Christmas presents, but that’s soon abandoned in favour of limp whines about vacuous pop stars and people who believe soap operas are real.

Frankly, the fact that Paloma Faith is vocabularily-challenged couldn’t concern me less. I wouldn’t have known the fact, had Eric not dug out a pointless Radio One interview in which she uses the word ‘awesome’ out of context a couple of times, which even the most dedicated pedant would probably let pass.

But Eric wants the incorrect use of the word banned, saying it should only ever be used in its proper sense, of ‘causing great surprise or sudden wonder’. It’s an adjective unlikely to ever be applied to this predictable, under-written and ill-conceived show which might throw up a couple of decent lines, but never threatens to be even vaguely interesting.

It’s a shame, as he comes across as such a nice chap.

Review date: 20 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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