Wednesday 08th July

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Tom Allen: Indeed review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Allen displays great observational skills and sharp wit in a colourfully descriptive celebration of English suburbia.

As an unconventional boy of slight build growing up in Bromley, Tom Allen seems to have developed his acerbic wit as a defence mechanism.  Here, in his latest show, he uses it more creatively, applying sharp observational skills and cutting judgment (usually softened by a brilliantly insincere smile) to enliven his tales of suburban normality.

Indeed centres on Allen’s life as a gay man in his early thirties back living with his parents.  Although it’s brave to eschew the spectacular for the mundane, it works excellently here due to the ease with which Allen brings his characters to life.  These are mainly his parents’ friends, whose lives are unspectacular but bursting with the sort of quirks and idiosyncrasies that most know well.

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Category: Comedy
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Sarah Kendall: Shaken review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Despite being an excellent storyteller and multi-award winning comedian, Kendall can’t quite harmonise the two in her new show about the serious consequences of lying.

Shaken begins with Sarah Kendall giving a window into her therapy sessions, to illustrate she’s a flawed human being who feels a constant need to entertain.  That is, she’s a comedian.  Then, as the therapist begins to lose patience with her constant joking and evasion, Kendall’s put on the spot and asked to explain why she’s the way she is.

This moves into the main part of the show, in which Kendall answers her therapist by talking about an incident that happened in her home town of Newcastle, New South Wales, in 1989.  It’s a quiet place, polarised between the onscreen action in the local cinema and the mundanity of life in the adjoining carpark and beyond.  “If Ferris Bueller had been set in my town,” she says, “he’d have smoked a bong, had a wank and gone back to bed.”

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Category: Comedy