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Kelly Kingham: Goody Two-Shoes

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Dave Hampson

From Kelly Kingham’s understated, unassuming welcoming announcement in this hot pub back room, it was clear this was never going to be a flash, bang, wallop of a show. Expectations seemed to be almost deliberately lowered by his languid opening five minutes.

The broad concept was for him to demonstrate his ability to make bad people good. Not a bad creative kernel from which to expand… if only he had expanded on it.

The first 30 minutes seemed like an exercise in getting this small audience to accept him for himself, whether that includes room-splitting puns or downright awful if not non-existent punchlines. It became uncomfortably apparent that weak jokes plus weaker payoffs equal clockwatching and fidgety punters.

His delivery was a strange mix of the camp of Larry Grayson, the innocence and ineptitude of Frank Spencer and the knowing ‘don’t tell your mum I said this’ nods of Max Miller. It’s a likeable approach but likeability alone is not what makes a good Fringe show.

He unfortunately falls into the trap that many a more experienced comic has come across before when performing to a particularly small crowd; that of addressing almost his whole set to someone on the front row who seems willing to be a part of the act.  This never seems to fail in having an alienating effect on the rest of the room.

In the last 20 minutes, there seems to be a conscious and rushed attempt to add a little drama and a bucketload of pathos to the proceedings. A clever five minutes of wordplay regarding the A-Z of his wife wanting to leave him was nice. However, a total lack of any narrative structure in the preceding 40 minutes renders this effort either jarring or pointless depending on how much attention was paid to the miniscule suggestions earlier in the show.

On his flyer he describes himself as a ‘well-meaning twit’. Anyone seeing this show would struggle to disagree.

Review date: 14 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Dave Hampson
Reviewed at: Royal Mile Tavern

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