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Super Crazy Fun Fun - Free
Published on Wednesday, 10 August 2011

3 stars

Laughing Horse @ The Three Sisters (venue website)
4-28 Aug, 3:35pm-4:35pm
Reviewed by Kirsty Leckie-Palmer

 Recommended for age 16+ only.

We’ve all heard the classic Fringe myth that the average show has 6 people in attendance.  At Super Crazy Fun Fun, the seating plan took this a little too literally. Although the seated crowd was a 'sell-out' for the venue, wannabe audience members were still clambering up the stairs toward the venue, and even more were peering through the door like concerned geography teachers who (for some reason) had surrendered their classroom to a pair of maniacs.

The show opened with some getting-to-know-you, and a quick-fire email exchange between the two comics, Padraig and Alan. This was innovative, but essentially just involved reading off a printout; I have definitely laughed when reading some online exchanges in the past, but wouldn’t go so far as to integrate it into a comedy show. Next Padraig took to the floor alone, and talked us through a flipchart of crude drawings. I wish this been just a touch more innovative than stick figures – it was a fun idea, but again, doodling a few silly images in order to get a chuckle is not a work of singular genius.

Then it was the turn of Laughing Horse Comedy Newcomer award winner Alan. Taking the helm with a few terrible one liners, he somehow managed to charm the audience with his defeatist, highly distinctive delivery. Alan’s voice is reminiscent of a depressive gas leak; it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely adds character to his style, and makes him utterly memorable. Both comics have impeccable timing, and though not every one of Padraig’s anecdotes had a point, they were fun to listen to; his delivery was unflappable, boldly so during a section when he sings.

Super Crazy Fun Fun quickly becomes hectic. It relies heavily on props – and while Hungry, Hungry Hippos and Harry Potter would be adored by, say, a student crowd, the mixed audience here were sometimes unenthused by such childish things.  At the other end of the content, some audience members balked at the swearing, and thankfully fled before the Madeleine McCann material was wheeled out – one of the risks particularly of free shows is getting the wrong sort of audience in.

But somehow, they charmed their way through it.  A true high point was the improv attempted by Alan with a member of the audience (he happened upon someone called Roch, whose name apparently meant ‘the patron saint of infectious diseases’: cue hilarity). Deserters aside, there was the strong feeling of crowd support for both comedians which is fundamental to a good stand up show.  

The blurb for the show points out ‘it is actually brilliant’; that brilliance escaped me, because with no real point of focus and a few weaker parts, it all felt just a little disorganised.  But I liked both performers, and although the show was not yet entirely polished, there were still laughs to be had.

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