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Lloyd Langford: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

What a great set-up. While the comedy scene is filled with stand-ups driving for complex, over-arching themes, mild-mannered Lloyd Langford has decided to ignore his relationship break-up, becoming homeless and mother falling ill to dedicate his full hour to the gripping odyssey of how he once ran out of bread and had to go to the shops for more.

‘A-ha!’ you may be thinking. ‘I expect this is the starting point for a number of surreal adventures in a magical world drawn from his inventive imagination.’

No. It really is an observational hour about his voracious housemate who consumed said loaf, the baffling choices in the bakery section and travelling by public transport to get there. When ‘…and so I got off the bus’ is the clichéd pull-back and reveal, ‘so I got on the bus,’ becomes the starting point for one of this amiably bemused Welshman’s shaggy-dog stories. ‘The bread that annoys me most at the moment…’ is another genuine premise.

It’s a hard call to make the mundane interesting and funny, and although Langford has a fair crack at it, he can’t quite succeed. Tellingly his best joke – and it’s a really good one, too  – has nothing to do with the yarn in hand, but concerns the National Anthem.

Langford of course digresses from his core stories, with discussions of face transplants – much of which feels like dated topical material – circumcisions and a stag do on a canal boat. This is hit and miss, and his no-frills delivery can either feel enjoyably natural or frustratingly low-energy, depending on whether the content alone is funny and engaging.

And therein lies the rub: there is no real disguising the fact these are five-to-seven minute routines drawn from a club repertoire ­– and with inconsistent quality, the hour feels bitty and unfulfilling, even if they are some great anecdotes contained within. His charming company goes far, but not all the way to the checkout.

Review date: 26 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Assembly Rooms

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