James Farmer: Ulitmate Worrier | Review by Steve Bennett
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James Farmer: Ulitmate Worrier

Review by Steve Bennett

This is one of those Edinburgh debuts that’s probably more for the performer’s development than it is for the audience. For there seems no real reason why James Farmer’s doing a show other than to prove to himself that he can. He certainly has virtually nothing to say.

A giveaway is that almost half of his 45 minutes is dedicated to audience banter as we come up with a wrestling character, catchphrase, signature move etc - all suggested by punters with the best ideas voted upon.

‘The show’s about identity,’ he tells us. Aren’t they all? But so little of his own identity comes through that by the end we know he’s from Wales and has a girlfriend and a brother. That’s about it.

Typical jokes concern Katie Hopkins, Facebook, or teenagers who think they are gangsta, all along unadventurous lines. His girlfriend suggest a threesome; he feels he’ll be left out. It’s the standard fare of twenty somethings non-alpha-males who become comics, without much apparent direction.

The fact that he has an impressive string of TV writing credits to his name – 8 Out of 10 Cats, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Have I Got News For You and many more – suggests either that he can write gags, but hasn’t saved any for his own show, or it’s evidence of just how predictable and generic panel shows have become. You decide.

So although he’s personable, doing well working the crowd in the create-a-wrestler segments, only a story about what trick and treating meant to him living in an isolated bungalow has any sort of personal resonance. Aside from that, this is a show so slight that it leaves no trace.

Review date: 31 Aug 2015
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Bannermans

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