Sometimes a good stand-up show is quite hard to review. There are only so many ways you can say that something is funny without labouring the point, and you don’t want to give away any of the punchlines, making it hard to go too in depth about the material. In some ways this hour from Alun Cochrane has that issue: there’s no real structure or underlying deep philosophical message, it’s just really funny.
Cochrane has a pleasingly laid back style, never really getting worked up into anything, and uses this to camouflage a number of stealthily surreal routines. A bit on wasting police time and a prison caste system builds cleverly, slowly getting odder and more involved as it goes, and has a very clever final punchline to it, but it never builds anywhere beyond that. That may be the best way of describing this show. It’s funny, and then something new happens. That is certainly not a fault, as when it’s funny it is really funny, but does still make it hard to review (why do acts never think about the reviewers).
There a couple of somewhat troubling moments, an outburst about Turkey and the fact that they are ‘mental’ seems like a sudden change of pace, that feels lowkey xenophobic, and some remarks of Islam cut a little close to the bone, but for the most part Cochrane is entirely uncontroversial (unless you are easily offended by literal tiptoe humour). This is, for the most part, just a fun, easy going hour that, whilst unlikely to radically alter your worldview, is more than capable of leaving you sat in tears of laughter, which is a perfectly wonderful way to be at the end of a Fringe show.
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