Mick Ferry Has Been Found Wanting
Gilded Balloon (Balcony)
31 July – 25 August (not 12)
The venue was only half full for Mick Ferry’s first preview night of his new Fringe show, Mick Ferry Has Been Found Wanting, but that’s okay; this was the exact number of people he wanted to come along anyway. Sporting short, slicked-back hair and a Fred Perry polo shirt, Ferry paced around the stage, determined to tell us all about his various shortcomings, but never in a self-defeating or melancholic way. Ferry’s style is such that, despite occasionally focusing on darker subjects and material, it is all delivered in a relaxed, friendly manner that is consistent throughout.
In a bold opening, Ferry recited his eulogy, which he has written himself. It is a clever device that fills us in on his past, which, by the sound of things, involved plenty of drugs, lost weekends and police cells. It tells us a lot about his character, the man he used to be and the man he is now, a family man and hard-working comedian. As the title suggests, Ferry’s family laid out all his shortcomings in stark detail, but Ferry can only shrug his shoulders and admit that he isn’t all that likely to change, so there’s probably no point in trying.
If this all seems a bit gloomy, it never felt that way in the telling. Ferry is nothing if not personable and finds time to chat to the audience, having lots of fun with a mum and her two grown-up children in the front row. To demonstrate how misanthropic he can be, he tells me that I look like an arsehole, but took it back later, saying I’m probably not an arsehole. He said this in such a friendly way it was impossible to be offended. Ultimately, his gags are sharp enough that he can get away with anything. Recommended.