I love Fringe because it lets you see comics playing with the form of stand-up so much more than you get any other time of the year, you get to see the artform fully explored instead of just another collection of men in their early 30’s talking about their penis.
One of this wonderful innovation is Pat Cahill’s new show about fishing. Cahill, a Fringe regular at this point, just wants to discuss his love of fishing, but ends up in a deep narrative over his psychological fear of ‘mushrooms’, with appearances from the dog of instant gratification. It is as odd as it sounds, but so wonderfully, beautifully bizarrely funny. Cahill has a way of taking a basic idea and just continuing to twist it and alter it and push it that little bit further, until it has gone so far as to be unrecognisable from what it initially was, but making it funnier as it goes.
Such ideas include fishing for people, dramatizing a dogs day at home, or editing songs so as just to include just the unique vocal inflections of the singer, I hesitate to use the word genius lightly, but it very well may be the case here. It is one of those shows, that you can never predict what will come next, and is all the better for it, each laugh hitting from a different direction.
Again, however, you feel none of this would work in a traditional comedy club, that a drunken Friday night stag and hen type audience might not be willing to go for what at times is tantamount to performance art, and it is for that reason that I love the Fringe. So if you are looking for something to push the artform (and I will fight anyone who claims that stand-up isn’t art), then Pat Cahill is a definite shout, especially if you want that something to be definitely, entirely all about fishing.
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