Tom Stade is a great comic. It may seem odd to say that in a two-star review, but this was just one of those nights. I hope it was as disappointing for Stade as it was for the audience that he had to bow out 20 minutes shy of the end of his set, deciding to put an end to the fits and starts of his show.
There's a certain irony that his show title – Oh F**k, Do We Need a Title Too! – suggests a forgetful nature. We saw Stade consult his notebook on occasion. It's far too late to be doing that, though I doubt the laidback Canadian spends July previewing his show, as a lot of Fringe comedians do.
Notwithstanding the clunky segues, there were some great lines. What do you say to your adopted African child if you want them to eat up their dinner? "There are people starving in Africa right now – like your parents."
Throughout Stade's shows, there has always been an undercurrent of a bygone youth and moving from living by his own rules to adapting to family life. He still goes out drinking, but that's subject to "a budget meeting on Thursday".
With Stade calling premature time on his act, the audience will have missed out on some good lines, but the glue that should have held them together was never there. There was a feeling that both punters and performer agreed to cut their losses.
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