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Terry Alderton

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Phill Gillespie

As Terry Alderton bursts on to the stage with his manic and intense energy, half of the crowd are clearly baffled. By the end, many are still unsure quite how to process this mad performance they've just witnessed.

Alderton begins by getting to know a few people on the front row, one in a very over-familiar way. There is a bold opening bit for locals regarding Edinburgh buses and a quite a few references to children's TV that work for people over 30. Then, shortly into his set Alderton pulls out his trademark technique, turning his back on his crowd and conversing with a devilish voice inside his head to discuss how it's going. It's akin to an expert ventriloquist vigorously arguing with themselves, and he returns to this successful idea several times.

Alderton smashes together all manner of subjects, observations, comic styles and general silliness. He uses his powerful vocal skills to runs through various accents, from posh English to angry Scottish, American, Aussie and Kiwi, as well as various characters from India and the British Isles, and a few famous people. The stress on his vocal chords must be quite severe, as some of these impressive sound effects are punishing on the ears.

There are a couple of short routines in the middle where the pace of the laughter slightly dipped so Alderton returned to discuss this with his dark passenger and the follow-up gags are just reward. There were mistakes in the dialogue that get picked up on by his other voices, not immediately though and that's part of the delight. Even now I don't know if him saying there are 52 stars on the American flag was a genuine mistake or an unfinished gag.

Alderton has gone all-in to put everything he can into this unconventional show. His effort clearly pays off and he creates a joyousness that raises the spirits of the whole crowd.

His vocal skills might be worthy of a show by themselves, but combined with a high-octane physical performance and some astute jokes for those quick enough to get them, Alderton has a put together a show that will appeal to just about the widest cross-section of audiences.

Review date: 25 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Phill Gillespie

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