EFR - Reviews of Geoff Norcott: The Look of Moron

Geoff Norcott: The Look of Moron

Mon 10th – Sat 29th August 2015

reviews

Genevieve Cox

at 11:47 on 13th Aug 2015

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In the words of Geoff Norcott himself, “part of the show is admitting stupidity”. The stupidity inherent in human hypocrisy comes through in Norcott’s witty, down-to-earth stand-up comedy that brings together spheres as diverse as political debate, personal stories, the generation gap, evolution of the patriarchy, debates on vegetarianism, flammable sofas, Dachau Concentration Camp and the Munich Beer Festival within relevant and contemporary context.

Norcott manages to successfully weave together these varying strands and topics, maintaining recurrent jokes on the Viking River Cruise, the political division between right and left wings – which he memorably links in a metaphorical analogy of the different wings of a house – and generational differences, yet presents all with a relevance to today and to his pub audience.

As well as updating the context of his jokes to today’s culture, Norcott adds personal relevance and involves his audience through intermittent participation and comically comments on their own personal anecdotal tales. Sometimes the boundary between personal and political was blurred, however, resulting in a loss of comedy.

As well as these slightly blurred critical boundaries, there were a few other hiccups - a slight technical difficulty with microphones was irritating, yet this was well covered and integrated into the political-joke context, as was an unplanned external noise disruption.

A few random digressions from his script appeared to produce slight panic as he tried to bring the subject artificially back around to his original plan; some lacking success in pre-prepared and hence superficial puns – particularly those on growing influence of Russia in ‘Leninton Spa’ and ‘Karl Marx and Spensers’. The lack of success of these were evident in the polite chuckles as awkward response from the audience.

However, the overarching audience response and reception was one of genuine laughter and enjoyment. In fact, during a fragment of audience participation, one member acknowledged the success of the show in their complimentary attitude: “Tu est un comedien tres bien!” Thus concluding that the show was a humorous success. Despite occasionally straying into unfunny areas, principally when it became overly political, The Look Of Moron was a well-planned and well-performed stand-up comedy set.

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Stephanie Young

at 12:34 on 13th Aug 2015

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Stand-up comedian Geoff Norcott strives to produce ‘something original and funny’ in his show Geoff Norcott: The Look of Moron. Norcott sells himself as a very normal bloke trying to preserve his intelligence – he got three As at A-level – as he gets older. Made up of a series of anecdotes and the odd one-liner, The Look of Moron is not remarkably original but it is certainly a funny and interesting watch.

Norcott’s set is largely political, reflecting on the state of the UK past and present. The show’s title is telling: you might be expecting a series of jokes about moronic things he has done, but this comedian is actually highly informed and engaged. Having both grown-up on a council estate and voted Conservative in this year’s election, Norcott’s candid views on political ideologies are posited as doubly legitimate.

The show’s downfall is that it occasionally veers towards a political rant and you’ll find yourself thinking ‘I know exactly what he means’ or ‘that’s a bit extreme’ but will you find yourself laughing? Possibly not enough for stand-up comedy.

The content is varied and Norcott appeals to the generation who grew up in the 1970s and today’s youth who are facing an age of austerity. His delivery was excellent: natural, confident and pacey. Consequently the atmosphere was relaxed and the audience was clearly at ease with the down-to-earth comedian; being able to sit back without fear of interrogation or humiliation at the hands of the person on stage makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

So if you are looking to ‘fill that 2.40pm gap’ or just ‘fancy a sit down’ Geoff Norcott: The Look of Moron is a great choice. It is easy to engage with his nuanced observations of class and culture, and you’ll laugh out loud at his jokes about the NHS and Hamlet and Take Me Out. Norcott’s attempt to work out how to be a functioning human, and a functioning comedian, is relatable and easily one of the least pretentious things you will see at the Fringe.

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