Reviewer: Jo Beggs
Gareth Morinan is stuck on the motorway. That’s OK. The King’s Arms bar is a nice enough place to be for an extra half hour on a Friday night. When he arrives and the small audience is finally ushered into the upstairs performance space, he’s a little flustered as he tries to get the technology in order. He should worry less. When the show begins he turns on a likeable charm that overcomes all the hassles of performing a chaotic fringe show above a pub to a handful of people.
Morinan’s hour long show is part stand-up, part powerpoint presentation, part character comedy. His animations, visual jokes and short films are more than just a backdrop to his fast-paced performance as he attempts to explore the ultimate truths of life. Morinan veers from global issues to the downright bizarre, he gives anti-drugs advice and safety tips for kids, debunks recycling and questions why women are attracted by tall men (Morinan isn’t one). Then he entertains us with his animated cocaine munching millipede and conga of dancing fruit.
There are echoes of those late night animation and puppet shows that have proliferated on TV here, particularly MTV’s Wonder Shozen, but Morinan executes the visuals skillfully and has enough good material to keep up the comedy pace he sets himself. He’s at his best when he’s being himself, though – using his experience of working in government – the Department of Education – to good effect, and delivering some great jokes about his diminished height, particularly in his final character, Clive X.
Morinan has a lovely, non-threatening way of involving the audience which gets a great, relaxed response and leaves you with the feeling you’ve been in a room full of friends. Circumstances worked against him a bit at this performance, but his confident and witty delivery won over the audience and provided a good night of fringe entertainment.