Reviewer: Paul Downham
They say that being a comedian can be the toughest and loneliest job in the world at times. Tonight Alfie Brown experienced this first hand in front of an audience totalling no more than 30 in the studio at The Lowry. Performing this show, on his own admission, for what is expected to be the last time before Brown writes a new show, he may be glad to see the back of it.
Crammed into the first three rows to try and elicit an atmosphere Brown bounded down the stairs onto the stage, the only sign of energy during the whole hour long set. Brown’s comedic style is certainly an acquired taste that takes some time to get used to, and when you do the question is, is he really funny?
The answer from this reviewer is on the whole, no. There are glimpses of humour throughout, although these were very few and far between. This was mainly due to the subject matter raised with paedophilia, slave labour and mental illness.
While with the benefit of hindsight some of the subject matter actually made perfect sense, at the time of delivery this was just not the case. Brown’s views on slavery for instance were actually spot on. He explains while we as human beings are sickened by this practice we do not bat an eyelid at enjoying the benefits of the trade in the form of items available to us on the supermarket and electrical store shelves.
The subject of mental illness tackled in an autobiographical way due to Brown’s suffering from Bipolar also hits an emotional nerve but its place in a comedy set is questionable. While Brown tries to make light of the challenges in his life as a result of this affliction the audience do not seem to connect.
As the show comes to a somewhat subdued end after an hour, Brown announces as the audience has been so nice, he’ll do a little bit extra. This reviewer thought this may be more of an act of compensation for the previous hour of entertainment, but it has to be said Brown ended on a high.
Brown’s take on airline food was something everyone in the audience related to. The delivery of the piece also was superb with an emotional rant from a fictional worker in an airline food preparation business. As good and well delivered as this was, you come away from the venue asking yourself if Brown should have taken an acting route rather than a comedic one.
Reviewed 20th February 2015