Alasdair Beckett-King: The Alasdair Beckett-King Mysteries – Tom Ballard: Problematic

The Alasdair Beckett-King Mysteries

Every now and again there comes a show that I can really pick a fault with. In fact the only fault I can have with Alasdair Beckett-King’s show is that his projector can be hard to view if sat at the back of the converted Pleasance container. In fact I would say there is not an ounce of fat for the duration of The Alasdair Beckett-King Mysteries. It’s a whimsical tour of the makings and make up of himself of a man who is a hippie vegan pacifist and takes apart the cliches behind these characteristics and the prejudice he now and again faces. Mix that in with some fairly intangible communist safety hazard pictures and deconstructing common phraseology, the show does feel a bit bric-a-brac presented by a friendly lefty lecturer. For a first time experience of Alasdair Beckett-King, its a lovely uplifting and witty hour and strong debut to add, but needs some extra spice to be a real stand-out.

★★★ and a half


Tom Ballard Problematic 

It’s his favourite night to have a Fringe show Australian Tom Ballard tells the crowd, this being a Sunday night, there’s more than a hint of irony in that statement. There’s a mixed crowd in the audience and it’s hard to know who Ballard wants to appeal to, bar everyone. He seems perturbed that not everyone is finding him to their tastes, and this drive by feeling to have the whole audience like him feels a bit needy and somewhat stalls his performance. By the way he stomps his mic-stand on the crowd, you’d think he was thinking he was Gandalf commanding everyone to get on board with him. Problematic is his show that looks to uncover the grey area of political correctness, that it is more than a black and white issue. For his age, Ballard is well ahead to most of his contemporaries, very self aware of his white privilege and the contradictions of white racist Australia. A lot of the show centres around him being on an Australian reality TV show with one well known Australian racist and Natalie Imbruglia. I did laugh throughout and even times I did laugh hard, particularly at the anecdotes of those who have suffered traumatic injuries but have used humour to heal their misfortune. But in terms of being in the same bracket as the Glenn Wools, Frankie Boyles or Jim Jefferies of this world, who are daring to challenge the status quo and can shine a fresh perspective on a social political perspective and be deliciously dark at the same time, he’s still a bit off that level. A very good talent but Problematic is a show that didn’t leave a lasting imprint. As a smart and confident comedian, it might not be too long until he can be held in the same breath as the aforementioned comedy elite.

★★★ and a half

Chris Aitken

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