Daniel Cook – Carpet
If you are easily stressed out Daniel Cook is likely not for you. ‘Carpet’ see’s Cook detailing a recent and short period of his life that was equal part harrowing and isolating with an anxious energy that’s uncannily fun considering the unpleasantness. The desire to convey this period accurately feeds into every part of his performance. Spending most of his time screaming into the air or the face of an unsuspecting audience member, it’s hard to imagine his constant panicked presence is anything but put on. His ability to make seemingly foreign ideas entirely relatable, by honing in on the small niggling details of life and magnifying them exponentially, also works perfectly time and time again. The borderline visceral tension that Cook can burn into an audience is artfully delivered and leaves you with an odd feeling of catharsis you’ll unlikely receive from many other shows in the fringe.
Pierre Novellie – See Novellie, Hear Novellie, Speak Novellie
There’s a certain aura of control that exudes from Pierre Novellie. This comes across in a wide range of ways: his ability to clearly express himself without ever coming across as overly excited; his constant digging at all sides of the political spectrum without revealing his own stance; being able to comfortably tell off and take the phone from a man twice his age who was texting in the audience. Novellie also comes across as highly knowledgeable in both modern and historical affairs, but also admits to simplifying things for the sake of entertainment. However when he does get more nuanced, things become a little more hit or miss. At its worst he comes across obnoxious, pandering only to the small portion of the audience that understand his more esoteric jokes, and letting them revel in a smug elitism. At its best, for example the shows conclusion, it highlights the hints at the greater understanding that were littered throughout the previous 50 minutes of what initially felt like unstructured chit chat.
This show is, for the most part, a fine and concise display of satirical comedy done right and offers a lot more depth than initially meets the eye.
Ivan Aristeguieta – Juithy
Having spent most of his life in Venezuela, one of the most violent countries in the world, Ivan Aristeguieta’s transition to the first world was a jarring one. His insights and stories give us a chance to stand back and examine our problems and lifestyle critically, taking in the good and the bad. While this aspect of ‘Juithy’ is often very interesting and funny many of the jokes and bits that are used to make these insights are less pleasing. Many moments when the show feels as though it’s building momentum end in anticlimax, with other sections and jokes feeling they stop, start and loop into each other in a very messy and tedious way. However, the ideas and outlook this show expresses, alongside Aristeguieta’s ever charming personality, definitely makes this a show worth seeking out.