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Tom Craine: Choirboy To Addict And Back Again

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Marissa Burgess

Tom Craine is a perfectly personably young man but this second Fringe offering is, sadly quite dull. The audience on this Wednesday afternoon weren’t the most responsive, which didn’t help the atmosphere and to his credit Craine soldered on animatedly despite the palpable apathy.

The title of the show Choirboy To Addict And Back Again sounds promising. We’re beginning to imagine an angelic Aled Jones type drawn into the drug world - shooting up heroin or smoking crack perhaps. Nope, apparently he had a bit of a problem with cannabis.

OK so that sounds dismissive: it may be considered a soft drug but many people have found themselves with major problems from its overuse - it’s just that Craine’s tale doesn’t come across as that interesting.

The story is meandering and pedestrian, explaining pieces of classical music here and making a few diversions into other bits of stand-up there. Then when he does get to his drugs hell, it’s briefly covered and underdeveloped. He gets too used to smoking spliffs in his student digs full of dopeheads and then goes home to mum and dad who sort him out because they are lovely people and care about their son.

There’s little more to it than that – though the Finsbury Park Community choir he now attends does sound entertaining: maybe he should bring them along next year.

Plus, and it a supremely picky point, but Craine pauses momentarily after each punch line. It’s just a small quirk of presentation but it’s irritating all the same – it’s the oral equivalent of an elbow in the ribs.

Elsewhere however there are some nicely written descriptions, such as his stoned Uni mate trying to complete his anatomy exam, plus some inventive imagery. Maybe across a 20-minute set this would have had more energy and punch but as it is, it’s a wholly lethargic experience.

Review date: 28 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess

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