Naz Osmanoglu: Exposure | Review by Paul Fleckney
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Naz Osmanoglu: Exposure

Review by Paul Fleckney

Welcome to the confession box. Naz Osmanoglu has apparently made a pact with himself to be more honest, after messing up a recent relationship. After it ended, he embarked on an almighty bender and moved back in with his parents, and now he's out the other side, full of remorse and trying to look himself in the mirror.

Luckily for us, we get to enjoy the fruits of his trauma in the form of his third solo show, Exposure. As ever with Osmanoglu – the self-proclaimed 'loudest member' of sketch group WitTank – it's a commanding hour of stand-up, not so much bellowed, as he has been wont to do in the past, more growled. He's a growler and a prowler onstage, for sure. 

There are similarities to Richard Herring in Osmanoglu, and not just because they both speak from the sinuses and talk about wanking. Like Herring, he feels clubby in style – you can really sniff out the chunks of material that could have a second life on the weekends – but has 'Edinburgh mode' too, when he can construct a solid hour’s narrative. They’re both also quite happy revealing the very worst of themselves for others’ entertainment .

Ozmanoglu is a strong storyteller, as evidenced by his description of the, um, 'adult' party he accidentally attends, and almost any anecdote involving his father, who remains a fecund source of comedy for his son, if a menace to the non-Turkish community. Osmanoglu seems to find another gear when doing material on his dad; he seems torn by the embarrassment of the various outbursts he has to witness, and their comic value. He also seems genuinely distressed at being on constant high alert for the next racist comment, which is flagged up by a physical 'tell'.

Exposure lacks consistency in the chuckle department. The finale about the aforementioned adult party is well-told but not as funny as you might expect of a big sexy final routine, and a few routines felt noticeably weaker than others, including a murder fantasy that he says he’s determined to keep in.

But there’s plenty of the good stuff. His life as the only single person in his circle of friends, and the web of lies he’s spun to some kid in Arkansas via the gaming community, are both very funny routines. Likewise, his opening section – which feels distinct from the rest of the show – on the madness and indulgences of living alone, gets things off to a strong start.

Osmanoglu comes across as a guy who really is on the back foot, in a personal sense, trying to rebuild and swallowing a bit of pride. It doesn’t appear to have dented his confidence as a comedian, though, as from out of the darkness he's produced a very enjoyable hour of stand-up.

Review date: 22 Aug 2016
Reviewed by: Paul Fleckney

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