Joz Norris: Hey Guys! | Review by Steve Bennett
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Joz Norris: Hey Guys!

Review by Steve Bennett

It might be the garish Hawaiian shirt or the bold red-rimmed glasses – but there’s something a bit Timmy Mallett about Joz Norris. But most likely it’s the enthusiastic, go-for-it glee with which he presents his uncynical stand-up, epitomised by the ‘Hey guys!’ title.

An excitable flibbertigibbet, he offers a running commentary on both his own earnest zeal and the fluctuating energy in the room. ‘Eventually I’m bearable,’ he’ll say, or: ’If anyone finds this annoying to listen to, imagine what it’s like in here,’ tapping his forehead. We don’t really have to, though, as his internal monologue keeps leaking out.

His relentless seeking of approval – ’Who here likes the next topic I want to talk about?’ – can grate, but his joie de vivre gets us through. True to his promise, his ceaselessly upbeat style wins the audience over, even when the material is patchy.

There are some excellent routines here – a playful swipe at Buzzfeed’s life hacks that ends in an beautifully silly impression of a Gif, or a story of a Subway employee that turns into a spoof of the Shawshank Redemption epilogue. Norris is palpably delighted when we buy into his whimsy, too, encouraging us on board even more. And he’s disarmingly self-effacing about the sections that don’t fly, as he pokes at ideas without quite seeing them through.

A nominal theme is provided with tales of the sort of jobs he has to do to make ends meet while pursuing his artistic dreams – including advertising Tuborg beer in Estonia – though it probably needs a stronger anchor than this to hold down the disparate sections if he’s to get the full commitment of the audience.

Review date: 31 Aug 2015
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Heroes @ The Hive

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