Gary Colman: Tickling Mice | Review by Paul Fleckney
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Gary Colman: Tickling Mice

Note: This review is from 2015

Review by Paul Fleckney

On the spectrum of Edinburgh comedy shows, with at one end a twentysomething university graduate with an overhead projector and a 'message', and at the other a fortysomething weather-beaten circuit comic stitching club sets together, Gary Colman’s show might just be the exact mid-point.

It’s fascinating to watch – he has a room full of drinkers, right by the Royal Mile on Saturday afternoon, and it starts out with a suitably clubby feel. Ex-Army Geordie Colman takes the room by the scruff of the neck and battles hard against the noise coming from the rest of the pub. He works hard, and is winning. He enquires as to the crowd’s alcoholic habits, there’s are stories about an improbable mugging and his unmanliness as a husband, and a slightly more soft-edged one about his pets.

There are some really nice gags in this section, and a few pretty questionable ones, including one with a punchline about shagging a fat lass. It’s a bit of blue, and it goes down well.

Then talk turns to his family, most of all his two sons. One likes football (the normal one) and one likes dancing (the wrong one). Colman is exasperated at having a 'weird' (i.e. probably gay) son and wants him to 'toughen up'. Me being a whiney progressive type, was exasperated at such an old-fashioned notion.

Then, virtually in mid-air, Colman changes his mind. The 'weird son' thing was just a ruse to do some impassioned routines about forcing identities on to people, the difference in role models there are for girls and boys, and how the different generations deal with questions of sexuality.

It’s probably not the most elegant switcheroo you’ll see on the Fringe, but he pulls it off. His thread about being an unmanly husband charged with killing a mouse returns and is nicely resolved.

Inevitably, Colman is compromised, but I don’t think anyone goes away disappointed, or necessarily notices there’s been a slow hijacking. Quite literally, something for everyone.

Review date: 16 Aug 2015
Reviewed by: Paul Fleckney
Reviewed at: Whistlebinkies

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