Comedian Dies in the Middle of a Joke

Show and Tell

Pleasance Dome

From 01 August 2012 to 27 August 2012

Rating: ***

Review by Catherine Lamm

Ross Sutherland has “devised” a production around the shooting of a burned-out comedian from 1983. Less important the shoot, the audience recreates the audience of the 1983 shooting.

Cards on the cabaret tables contain the scripts for hecklers while one member from each table portrays comedian Joe (Pooley) Pops in the minutes up to his death. The tables rotate so we see the act recreated by six different performers. The act is the same but the retorts are different.

A great interactive idea which depends heavily on the script(s) and the audience. As this is the Fringe, we suspect many in the audience are actors, which may be why they seem so at ease and natural in the part of the comedian. Because Sutherland must not only anticipate the limits of the participants and their reactions and because there is the repetition of the basic act, the script tends to be somewhat weak. We credit that the comedian by devise is totally burned-out and supposed not to be funny on his own.

Sutherland briefly MCs and moves everyone along throughout from actually seating people as they enter the room. Film clips from the 80s provide the necessary filler whilst he moves people from table to table.