Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD, Pleasance Dome
Wednesday 17 August 2011
Despite his name, Thom Tuck is neither a fairytale character nor a minor invasive surgical procedure, as he quips.
He's one third of Fringe favourites, comedy troupe The Penny Dreadfuls, and this is a solo outing. It's a structured hour of stand-up; the conceit is that he's watched every straight-to-DVD Disney movie – or STDVD, to quote his charming acronym portmanteau... So that's 54 prequels, sequels, midquels, and parallelquels (again - his coinage, not mine). But there's also a secondary strand to the show, where he laments all the girls who've ever broken his heart.
He's a watchable, charming performer, with widely expressive eyes, his well spoken voice rumbling along pleasantly till some particularly ridiculous detail causes him to screech in disbelief (“they called an Arab side-kick character Ab-Ismael?!”). It's perhaps too wholly addressed to front row, but the audience is nevertheless with him throughout - Disney and love are a pretty bankable relatable topics after all.
Thanks to his sketch-show background perhaps, he's good at storytelling; the audience hushes for his tales of heartbreak, which can be close-to-the-bone honest. But these sometimes slip too far into personal reminiscence, and they feel at odds with the chirpy, observational Disney material.
The two strands don't quite weave together entirely satisfactorily - and his equating of women he's adored with Disney princesses is a little icky. He's obviously a funny man, but this show doesn't quite nail it; let's hope it's just his prequel.
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