James Meehan: Gaz

Gaz is an unconventional show. Conversational, sometimes angry, sometimes bleak, but frequently still very funny. James Meehan is a working-class comic at a festival dominated by the well off and rich. And he’s combatively so, much of the show deals with that struggle, whether it’s economically or in the casual dismissal that many working-class comics can face when compared to their better-educated peers.

The remainder of Meehan’s material in this hour deals with toxic masculinity, depression, feminism and a previous unhealthy relationship. It’s impossible to know the truth when facing material like this but Meehan speaks with passion and vulnerability about how he sees the situation he found himself in. Whether things occurred precisely as presented is sort of immaterial to the genuine feeling of sorting through difficult and complicated issues of love and heartache.

It’s important to emphasise that Gaz is a very funny show, it’s not all dour reflections on past abuses and class warfare, but it is a generally more serious hour of comedy than you’ll generally see. There are sections that are clearly not intended to be wholly funny or light-hearted, but it honestly works. There’s nothing in the rulebook that says a comedy show must be all jokes all the time or should always attack from a jovial angle. So yes, an unconventional show.

If you’re just looking to have nice time and enjoy some laughs, then this isn’t necessarily the show for you. It’s certainly as rough around the edges comedy-wise as it is topic-wise. I’d highly recommend checking it out, however. As much as the phrase ‘worthy’ has come to be associated with humourless scolds and saccharine try-hards, I can only describle Gaz as kind of worthy. It covers topics that are worth discussing and does find the fun in them despite itself. It’s a small show that deserves a voice in a sea of bigger ones that honestly just don’t.

★★★★

Keiran Burnett

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