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Nik Coppin: Pasquinader

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Mickey Noonan

Crikey, Mr Jongleurs has come up with a decent, if highly shambolic, hour of Knockabout comedy. Nik Coppin is a regular on the late night circuit, so has a fine line in easy gags for drunken stags, but this show, built around Coppin’s impressive caricatures, is much calmer than his usual manic chatter.

Not that Coppin’s quiet, far from it. He bounds across the tiny stage, fiddles with the entrance music, talks at 100mph and generates an irresistible atmosphere of good old-fashioned fun. The ramshackle narrative is about how Coppin became a comedian, thanks to various influences both familial and famous. This is where the pasquinader (an old Italian word for caricaturist) comes in, as these important figures in his life are depicted in some cracking drawings, from his mum to Mike Tyson, his dad to Michael Jackson.

That’s the idea, anyway. In reality, this gimmick merely serves as a hook for Coppin to interact with his audience, which he does with the kind of skill that comes from a life in chain clubs.

In fact, he is perhaps a little too generous with his banter and he’s very easily distracted. On the night Chortle saw him, one decidedly worse-for-wear lady treated the show as a conversation rather than entertainment. Yet somehow it worked. Coppin is happy to share the limelight with his crowd and seems to just be having a great time, dealing with his unwanted co-star with gentle good humour and explaining why his hero Spiderman would wup Wolverine in a scrap.

Coppin’s slapdash approach to laughs has elicited criticism, but in a tiny room on the free fringe, his enthusiasm and high spirits are big enough to cover the cracks in his frankly flimsy material. Coppin is never going to deliver a polished, streamlined hour, or even get through his planned patter, but time spent in his company will leave you with a smile on your face. And hell, the boy can draw.

Review date: 21 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Mickey Noonan

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