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Mark Restuccia: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

This is a show that’s been ten years in the making. That’s how long Mark Restuccia has been on internet dating sites – meeting an estimated 1,500 women over that time. That’s not a search for love, that’s an addiction.

He’s got a couple of tales from his exploits, and an acknowledgement that the websites, with their seemingly endless supply of possible partners, turn their members into serial daters – but this is a strangely impersonal show that could have been written by someone with little first-hand knowledge.

Instead of laying bare his soul, it’s just a collection of silly – and sometimes very easy – gags about the subject: Viagra, porn and penis enlargement pills get a namecheck, as seems obligatory whenever the web is mentioned; he lists some punny user names he found online; reels off some pet hates for a date, and cracks cheesy gags like ‘I went on the women behind bars dating site. I though they would be barmaids’.

The clunkiest of these are often followed by David Brent-style self-conscious giggles, part of a delivery which often seems nervous, as there are a hell of a lot of ‘errs’ and ‘uuums’, even for a preview.

The show has all the elements the textbook presumably says you need for an Edinburgh debut. There’s the PowerPoint presentation on which he can show pictures of cute pets or inappropriate profile pictures; the short comic film shot in arty black and white; and the allegedly tear-jerking conclusion about us all needing love to make the word a happier place. To use a cliché: Pass the sickbag, Alice.

Restuccia – a veteran of no fewer than  four new act competition finals – can be a competent comic, and there are a couple of nice gags here, if not always on topic: one about adopting animals for charity is neat, but obviously shoehorned in. Such lines ensure the show is perfectly adequate, but no more. And as the economics of the Fringe keeps shifting, expecting people to pay up to £10.50 for 50 minutes of passable stand-up from a relatively little-known name seems a tall order.


Review date: 3 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Gilded Balloon At Third Door

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