Some stand-up shows are determined to have a point and say something important about the world. Some stand-up shows just want to be funny, employing polished-club-ready gold. Eleanor Morton’s 2019 offering doesn’t really seem to know which of the two it wants to be.
Morton, one of my favourite performers (if you have been following my reviews), doesn’t really seem to have her heart in it this year. Even in the title of the show, Post-Morton, she admits doesn’t mean anything or particularly make sense. There is some attempt at a theme, with both her sister’s lingering depression, and the thread of her friends getting married and having overly involved hen parties. The issue is that it doesn’t really seem to be a full show, instead appearing more as leitmotifs.
On the other hand, there are some big laughs to be had (her dad’s very straightforward mindset is mined well), but many routines don’t have that big a payoff required for the time invested, and just somewhat peter out. This is something of a disappointment given Morton’s usually high standards. This isn’t to say there isn’t fun to be had; Morton is an engaging and affable performer as always, holding audience attention and interest even when laughs aren’t immediately forthcoming.
The overall impression of this show is that it’s just slightly undercooked. It feels like a show for a show’s sake, a work in progress, padded out with club material. With the theme of her sister’s depression, it feels like a really great hour could be teased out of the premise, with Morton’s obsessive need to help her a fascinating concept that you are often left wanting to hear more about. I would be interested in seeing this show again in a year’s time, seeing more focus on that side of things and having the material given a final polish. Still a pleasant hour, but not what it could have been.
Post-Morton runs until the 25th of August – buy tickets here.