Glenn Moore: Love Don't Live Here Glenny Moore | Edinburgh Fringe review by Paul Fleckney
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Glenn Moore: Love Don't Live Here Glenny Moore

Edinburgh Fringe review by Paul Fleckney

There’s no denying Glenn Moore’s comic talent but his follow-up to his award-nominated show last year seems to fall between the cracks. His preferred style is to tell a story while weaving in a barrage of one-liners, and this year the story is ‘no more Mr Nice Guy’, aka his own inability to express his opinions, to be himself. He’s had enough of his lifetime of being easy-going and getting punished for it.

Moore runs through his relationship background, one of which apparently ended because he had no opinions and wasn’t a ‘real person’. A harsh verdict that I hope is just a little showbiz topspin for the sake of the show. 

He attributes his early choice of career – radio newsreader – to his need to stay risk-free and stick rigidly to the facts. Meanwhile, he paints a picture of a family of strict rules, high achievement and high expectations. 

The jokes, as ever with Moore, come thick and fast, and need to be taken as silliness to be appreciated. His command of language and his playfulness with it is evident throughout, sprinkled with some visual gags to boot (I especially liked his one about carrying a calculator everywhere with him). The relentless joke-telling points towards one of the deficits: that the show lacks perspective on what his predicament says about the outside world. 

The bigger problem is harder to pinpoint though, as everything seems to be in place for a killer show. I think it comes from a mismatch of confessional and gag-barrage.

 Last year’s show, about applying to be one of the first civilians on Mars, was a silly, silly premise that matched his silly, silly jokes. This time he is giving us a borderline breakdown, and trawling his past for traumatic events and examples of his cowardice.

 It’s not the tonal disparity that’s the problem, but the fact that you don’t quite know what’s real. I’m listening in good faith that this sentence is a necessary recollection from the past, then it turns out it’s the set-up to a punchline. So was it real? The overall themes of his personal frustrations are crystal clear, but with each individual line, you don’t quite know where you are; whether you should be taking him seriously or not.

This might seem picky but I think it’s the reason why the show doesn’t hit home. And I can see how, in the course of writing a show and loading it up with gags, a comic can forget to step back and see that you’re wading in muddy waters. 

Still, on it goes. Moore builds up a head of steam, which gives a sense of climax, and he tells us about working with Katie Hopkins and Nigel Farage at LBC. 

This could have been a whole show in itself to be honest, especially as Moore has an original (and brave) take on Hopkins that could be the main premise. But how would Moore fit his hundreds of gags around such am idea? It might just be that his laser-focus on joke-writing is coming at the expense of other aspects of comic judgment.

Review date: 15 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Paul Fleckney
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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