Lawrence Leung Wants A Jetpack

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

This is the 21st century – where are the jetpacks we were promised? The comic observation behind Lawrence Leung’s new show is at least as old of the century itself.

His set-up does, indeed, follows a predictable path: clips from old episodes of Towards 2000 showing inventions that never made it comprise one strand, the other is the now-familiar theme of male comics realising that they are not ‘proper’ grown-ups like their fathers were at their age.

Somehow Leung convinces himself – and, to an extent, us – that somehow he will prove himself mature if he becomes a jet-man. And so begins one of his trademark comic quests, speaking to members of that tiny global elite who do actually own jetpacks, and conspiring to procure one for himself, even if it does involve recruiting an unlikely inventor he dubs ‘the bogan MacGyver’ to construct one for him.

Leung beams with innate charm and wide-eyed enthusiasm throughout the yarn, which is liberally illustrated with photos and home-video clips. The screen in this sizeable room is way too small for this, but that’s not really his fault.

As comic documentaries go, Leung’s adventure is one of the more straightforward ones, but he injects it with life. There are a few jokes, but this is more about an entertaining story, peppered with larger-than-life characters whom he teases, but always respectfully. His own naivity and the unlikely figure he cuts as a potential daredevil are just as ridiculous.

Although the story runs the risk of seeming contrived, Leung’s charisma papers over the cracks – making the payoff surprisingly uplifting.

Tempting though it is to say ‘it’s a blast!’, which will look good on the posters, this probably isn’t the best show Leung has done in all his years at the festival. However, it is a solidly entertaining yarn from an always watchable comedian.

Review date: 9 Jan 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.