Performer: Tom Wrigglesworth
Reviewer: Rosanna Sloan
Tom Wrigglesworth adds a touch of theatricality and poetry to his comedy show Utterly at Odds with the Universe presenting an unusual, funny and at times touching routine full of likeability and, in this performance, on the spot improvisation.
Tonight marked the end of his three-month tour around the UK, and with an attentive and vocal crowd Tom built a good atmosphere at the mac. He reacts well to random comments from the audience and is able to bridge spontaneous, and sometimes provoked, audience reaction and his material together well, like a true comedy professional.
From the beginning of his show there is an unexpected touch of theatricality. The show starts by hearing various tape recordings, placing us with Tom as he was aged six, which provided a nice nostalgic backdrop for the then forthcoming material – telling us stories of Tom and his Grandfather and the various mishaps, lessons and conversations they shared during their time together. However the moments taking us back to the backbone of the show, talking about Tom’s relationship with his Grandfather, were at times too few and far between, and it felt like there is a wealth of comedic material waiting to be uncovered in the memories and stories Tom shared with his Grandfather.
Tom’s writing is, at times, quite poetic, placing Utterly at Odds with the Universe at the intersection between a comedy gig and a spoken word performance. It is these moments, and the unexpected punch lines, that give this show its character and its distinction from other comedy shows. These rhythmic moments create a great flow to the piece, which Tom delivers with charm, making the material a pleasure to listen too.
Just as the audience and Tom were getting into the swing of things at this performance, after a slightly rocky but well handled start, there was an interval that interrupted the story abruptly. Although Tom picked the audience back up again well, this was an unnecessary break that disturbed the natural flow of the material.
During the performance there is some interesting material, and a thoughtful balance of subjects, however the show seems a little slow and disjointed at times when the material goes off on several tangents before finally coming back to the story we all want to hear. Although some references to sports and politics may go over some of the audience’s heads, you aren’t left feeling out of the joke for too long or too many times, before the audience feel in it all together again.
An entertaining evening, with a comedian blurring the boundaries between comedy, theatre and spoken word, Tom Wrigglesworth delivers a show full of flair and personality.
Reviewed on: 13th April