LOVE may indeed be a many-splendoured thing, but at this time of year, it’s also a perpetual porridge pot of raw ingredients for comedians.
John Robins: This Tornado Loves You
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Lazy Susan: Extreme Humans
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Shelby Bond: Fauxmosexual
The Tonic at The Mash House
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Finding it, losing it and wanting-but-not-getting it might be an emotional rollercoaster for those involved, but it’s meat and potatoes for comedy.
John Robins, pictured, knows all about love and is more than happy to pass on some tips, along with a little comedy deconstruction.
For instance, he talks about the ways (male) comedians try to bond with (female) members of the audience to, as delicately as I can put it, gain their favours.
Robins is immediately disarming and hilarious as he shows that happiness just isn’t funny, proving his point with endless examples of his own doomed romances giving him a constant stream of material.
Quick witted, his off the cuff comebacks are easily as potent as his fabulous scripted material.
Sketch show performers Lazy Susan are, in fact, anything but lazy. Running around the stage, switching costumes and characters constantly throughout the show, what they lack in budget they more than make up for with inventive, absurd humour.
Unrequited love permeates every sketch, whether it’s the hapless call centre manager pining for the office hunk, or the Wayne’s World style talk show host falling for a goth nihilist.
Utterly charming and with perfectly pitched acting and timing, the stage set might have promised little, but the show delivered an enormous bouquet of heart and laughs.
Shelby Bond has a completely different approach, welcoming the audience in and joking around even before the show begins. His is possibly the friendliest, most conversational show you’re likely to see.
The title refers to the fact that he’s blessed with, as he puts it, a ‘girly straight guy’ image, and he cheerfully and selflessly provides anecdotal evidence of just how awkward that can be.
Bond rarely goes for cheap laughs, but instead builds a solid storytelling rapport with his audience. His show is peppered with plenty of jokes too, but he has what feels like a huge untapped well of hilarious stories to fill plenty of hours as good as this one.