Tom Toal’s hour comes not long after Caimh McDonnell’s show in the same room and it’s a dramatic change of pace from rapid quick fire jokes to a calm and gentle show of anecdotes from Toal who makes an hour in his time seem effortless and utterly worthwhile.
Like before, the room is packed and would give good cause to many acts in the paid venues struggling to half fill their rooms to feel somewhat envious. The heart of the matter of Prequel is, to Toal, the most significant moment of his life. With cool and well handled nonchalance, he streamlines through various moments of his life where the joke is either on him being the comedian at the wrong place and wrong time, as a child trying to rise above a class mate adversary or having a dad constantly taking the mick out of him.
At half 2 to half 3 in the afternoon, Tom might find that there might be a few audiences not quite prepared, or alcoholically fuelled to quite partake in some of his audience interactive ploys and sometimes they don’t quite have the payoff for its intended purpose. Giving this is his first performance in this room for the rest of the month, there’s still plenty of time to refine some elements.
Toal leaves his significant life changing moment reveal just prior to the end of his hour and it fulfils a nice narrative arc that makes this hour a proper Edinburgh Fringe show, full of heart and laughter in equal measure. This might not be a joke per minute but you might find yourself taking a paracetemol to kill the pain in your jawline afterwards.