A year after making his debut at Just The Tonic to a lot of positive acclaim, Brush has traded a 7pm slot time for just after 1pm, commenting he felt that audiences were jaded at that point, only in hindsight, it was him. Being self-depreciating and utterly deadpan go hand in hand with Brush’s self-admitting dour demeanour. It does take a while for the audience to warm up and get on board, given his mono-pace and mono-pitch. The energy in the room is almost purely generated by pithy punch lines that pick up further along the show. I couldn’t help but feel that he was a victim to the pitfalls of a free fringe gig; there is a slighter older audience in attendance that look like they’ve taken a gamble rather than do any research. Ironically, it’s not until an audience member from the front row departs that with some self-depreciation and bemoaning about not getting paid, he manages to erupt the room with some quick wit.
The show’s main glue and theme is Brush’s confession of confusing his memories for dreams, harking back to his childhood, and his confused approach to the likes of Santa and the tooth fairy. These make for nice moments of exploiting his imaginarium, although they don’t border too far into the surreal. But he hits hardest when his gags are a little more traditional, leading you down one alley and leaving a pleasing surprise at the end of it.
Although the sense of neuroticism is an amiable trait, I couldn’t help think a few theatrics could really puncture the moments that appear flat but also to see whether he’d have them in his locker to pull them off. Funnily enough they do come, that served to tie up the theme. However, they come a bit late, and don’t quite have the execution like his joke telling. But it’s a welcome sign. Some might consider Peter Brush as going against the grain compared to most comedic stylings. It’s actually quite refreshing to see someone whose selling point is beholden to what every comedian should be evaluated upon – good writing. Brush gives that box a big tick.