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Gareth Morinan: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Julia Chamberlain

This is a show unlike any other you will have seen, unless you’ve seen Gareth Morinan before.  It deconstructs comedy as  well as showing comedy.  Using a barrage of colour through animation, images flash before the audience, there is always something to look at and it changes so fast he creates a slight sense of anxiety that you might miss something. The screen also carried prompts and comments on what was happening on stage, what comic technique was being deployed, so while Morinan is speaking in front of the screen, there would be subtitles  keeping you on your toes.  The effect was quite dizzying.

The animations were as simple and bright as children’s book illustrations or toy designs, but the content, the controversial duck and the bovine manager, for example, are very definitely adult material.

Morinan provided his own warm-up man, and other live characters as well as a short film with Clive X, head of the Short Man party.  He said himself he is not a character comedian, but these quick, cartoonish stereotypes were successful in the context of the show where the view changed every few seconds.

The hour was packed with ideas and energy, some of it more clever than funny, but  there’s enough funny.  It is difficult to know where you would put this event outside of the Fringe Festival, it’s a superb comedy item that engages the brain more than the heart, making it all the more unusual.

Morinan is an awkward performer, nerdy and harsh-voiced, but he works well with the hand he’s been dealt, he is absolutely in command of his technology and was not thrown by his spoof TV pitch actually having a TV exec in the audience.

There are strands of the show that could be developed more, some of the political aspects from the civil service insider for example, but that would be to change his distinctive style and make it  something else.

This would be the perfect show to take someone with ADD to, as the breakneck speed and whole mixed media aspect is unpredictably exhilarating.  In terms of personal achievement, Morinan has shot up since last year’s cheerily chaotic offering, and this show indicates he’s now properly in charge of his material and performance.

Review date: 18 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain
Reviewed at: Underbelly Bristo Square

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