‘Joz Norris is Dead. Long Live Mr Fruitsalad.’ (full title of the piece), posits that Norris is unable to make the show as he needs to take a bath. Instead, he is being replaced by his friend Mr Fruitsalad, a bucket hat wearing, sunglasses sporting, long beard aficionado, looking for all the world like the most auspicious possible attempt to appear inauspicious. Fruitsalad’s replacement show, his effort at becoming a ‘Mr Saturday Night’ type comic, involves an interminably long attempt to find a theme song, and some of the best burrito-based stand up you will ever see.
The search for a theme song may be one of the oddest and funniest comedy premises I have seen in a very long while. Jumping between failed attempts to turn up at parties with wine, to dancing to ambient soundtracks, and one of the best pieces of modern clowning I have ever seen involving the tunnel-like set up of the Hive, it is glorious. Fruitsalad wonderfully deconstructs the modern stand-up special mentality wonderfully, and the structure of the show works beautifully to hold up the bizarre premises it contains. Everything is done for a purpose, small things like a throwaway gag about a traffic cone coming good before the hour is up, and there is a wonderful connectedness to the hour. The finale, without spoiling the premise, is great look at the trend of stand-up shows having needlessly sentimental endings tacked on to unemotional preceding material, and all of it just works.
‘Joz Norris is Dead. Long Live Mr Fruitsalad’ is one of the most joyously creative shows you will see at Fringe this year, leaving you baffled and amazed. I can only echo the title. Long live Mr Fruitsalad.
Joz Norris is Dead. Long Live Mr Fruitsalad. runs until the 25th of August – buy tickets here.
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