Geoff Norcott: The Look of Moron

2015GEOFFNO_OHLet’s start off with the basics. Geoff is on at 2.20 at Just the Tonic at the Tron ( a large pub just off the Royal Mile for those who don’t know). The basement is scruffy, with a mix of old tables, chairs and stools, but it has air conditioning.

You can pay £5 upfront to guarantee a ticket or put what you think it’s worth in his wellington on the way out.

Geoff Norcott is funny. He is what you might call a ‘traditional’ comedian; standing in front of his audience telling stories, picking arguments, riffing ideas all with the aim of making you laugh. No need to worry that he’s suddenly going to get confessional and tell you about his darkest secrets. You’re in safe hands.

Comedy is one of the most subjective of art forms but, for me, he’s funnier than Kevin Bridges or John Bishop.

The best comedy makes you think and Geoff certainly does that, although not always in the way he intends. According to his press release, Geoff “takes on the vast ranks of modern morons, from lazy lefties and dogmatic atheists….” and as a left leaning freethinker, I expected to be offended. However, apart from a rather weak line about an atheist vegan and a joke about left wingers and right wingers building a house (that was actually very even handed), I needn’t have worried.

He’s also described as an iconoclast but he’s no Andrew Lawrence. Certainly, some of his views are in the minority but many are common sense; which allows us to share in his observations. He rightly points out that we may not like the huge corporations, but we are complicit; that Amazon are evil but they do same day delivery; he also undermines the knee-jerk reactions to the death of the high street and the closure of pubs. This material works beautifully and it holds up a mirror to us.

The problem then is that Geoff feels the need to tell us who he voted for at the last election. Whilst this does lead into some amusing material, it elicits a stony silence from an arts festival crowd in Scotland. There is a similar reaction to his ideas about the NHS and privatisation. These moments slow him down when there could be other, quicker ways to get into his material. I will say that, sometimes, it feels good to take offence.

I particularly enjoyed his darker material about euthanasia and World War II. Although, his joke about Hiroshima got a censorious look from the more senior citizens sitting at the front, which had him backtracking. I wondered if it was too soon after the 70th anniversary to be making jokes about the Atomic Bomb, but the audience seemed to enjoy the material about Auschwitz so it’s hard to know where the line is.

In short, Norcott is well worth an hour of your time and when he becomes a regular on Mock the Week and the rest of the comedy panel game shows, you’ll be able to boast how you saw him when he was starting out.

A highly intelligent, naturally funny guy on his way up.

For Tickets, Times & Dates:

Geoff Norcott: The Look of Moron

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