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Lloyd Langford: Galoot

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Jay Richardson

Ostensibly a show about taking risks and embracing your inner idiot, Lloyd Langford takes to he stage dressed in a giant banana costume, and quite endearingly, never once offers an explanation.

With his amiable manner, mild frustrations and wry observations, he's always pleasurable company, a capable storyteller. Unfortunately, this is yet another Fringe show from the Welshman that feels immediately throwaway, a string of decent but disparate routines held together on the flimsiest framework.

The inconsequential becomes huge in his stubborn mind, knee space under train tables a battle to be fought and won. And he embraces the always interesting viewpoint of attacking charitable causes, specifically Comic Relief and Movember.

The first merely reflects his irritation with the PR-hungry singer Jessie J, her less than pure motives for shaving her head supported by his pretty damning evidence. The routine could have been expanded into deeper analysis of the relationship between celebrity and charity though, rather than just left as character assassination. Similarly, he makes a deft point about the smug, self-congratulation underpinning Movember. But only as a launchpad for his proposed silly alternative, Bollocktober.

There's a little bit of frisson with the crowd when he stereotypes men and women by their drinks, or adopts a slightly apologist stance for Jeremy Forrest, the teacher jailed for absconding to France with his 15-year-old pupil. In both cases, these are slightly lazy and obviously gratuitous lead-ins to routines, but the first does have the saving grace of taking the hysteria around Jimmy Savile to a ridiculous conclusion of fear-mongering logic.

Role models for Langford, it transpires, are people like the 'real' Rocky, journeyman boxer Chuck Wepner, who against all rational advice, got into the ring to fight a Kodiak bear. Or shark wrestler Paul Marshallsea, whose act of heroism while on sick leave cost him his job. These galoots have dived headfirst into situations, heedless of the consequences, inspiring Langford to attack German schoolchildren in the trench exhibits of the Imperial War Museum. And to ask a girl he'd only just met to accompany him on holiday.

Irrespective of the sweet pay-off to this story, you can't dispute that acting like a headstrong idiot has furnished Langford with a few entertaining anecdotes. But whether it's enough to hang a show upon is something he appears to doubt himself.

Review date: 17 Aug 2013
Reviewed by: Jay Richardson

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