A Mundane Slide-Show Trilogy | Brighton Fringe comedy review
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A Mundane Slide-Show Trilogy

Brighton Fringe comedy review

There’s no danger of A Mundane Slide-Show Trilogy falling foul of the advertising standards people. This is pure anti-comedy, in  which a benign, amiable middle-aged bloke prattles gently on about his day-to-day life, no matter how boring,  nor without much care for where any of it might be going.

He might have zero showmanship, but Neil Davidson’s a charming enough everyman. He’s made three picture books to take us through,  happily admitting it’d take us only a few minutes to read them, the rest is padding as he futzes around the stage, genially chit-chatting about this and that. 

His illustrated story about Frank Simpson, the retired TV repairman, has some nostalgic sweetness, although there’s hardly a driving narrative. Another tale in the titular trilogy is about the time he got his Edinburgh tenement’s communal door fixed and it was a lot more expensive than he expected. That’s it. The tales come with endearing illustrations, however, and Davidson talks us through the bits he likes and bits he doesn’t in each of them.

He’s not very good with the PowerPoint. Nor the microphone. Nor with sticking to the subject. A woman who may be his partner helps out, kind of. She’s asked to open the window or get the mic working (she can’t). She occasionally turns the house lights on by mistake from her position at the back and chats with the audience – many of whom are her friends – as the show, if we can call it such, struggles to get under way.

There seems to be no junction between this real life and the presentation of the stories; certainly no artifice or showbiz razzle-dazzle. Some people love this sort of comedy, best exemplified by Mark Silcox and Edward Aczel, and in Davidson’s case, there genuinely appears to be no act at all. If authenticity is what you want, this is authentic. No effort has gone into creating jokes or punchy stories. 

But I do miss those things, even if he is good, low-key company.

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Review date: 14 May 2024
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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