Joe Wilkinson – My Mum’s Called Stella and My Dad’s Called Brian: Fringe Review

4/5

The awkwardness at which Joe Wilkinson enters the stage, sloth-like with his long limbs and scraggly beard hidden behind a dishevelled brown suit, creates an immediate sense of uncertainty amongst the audience. Proceeding to hug most of the crowd before fumbling through the first few minutes of his set with a definite lack of self-assurance, it is understandable that many would think this the result of a lack of experience in the field of comedy. However, this is Wilkinson’s game.

As the show unfolds you realise that this incertitude forms the backbone of his comedic style where he seeks to divulge the lack of excitement that has happened in his life. This disassociation from the sort of events that are commonly experienced amongst men his age creates stories filled with embarrassing and cringe-worthy situations that are hilarious when recounted.

It is easy to empathise with Wilkinson as one could feel sorry for the relative lack of stimulation he has experienced in his life but whether or not any of these events actually happened is testament to the brilliant way in which he says them. The sincerity at which he presents the material – ending with a fantastically uncomfortable ending to the show where the audience is left questioning whether it ended in disaster or purposefully – makes this a performance that is definitely worth looking into as it offers a form of comedy that is not often found at the Fringe.

3rd – 28th Aug 2011 (not 10th, 17th, 24th ), Pleasance Courtyard, 5.45pm, £9.50(£7)

Taken from Informed Edinburgh, published online Aug 2011.

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