Barry Ferns: This Barry Ferns Belongs to Lionel Richie
The show closes with half the remaining crowd walking out. It’s a pity since Ferns is brimming with enthusiasm, but the material is just not up to scratch. A mounted deer head is still on the stage, but a man who spent most of the show inside a cardboard box has, this critic thinks, exited. There is some promise as the show kicks off, Ferns confidently interacting with us, but it soon descends into something with too many ideas and too little dedication.
A new stand-up show, it’s peppered with set pieces and sketches from previous performances, few of which go down well, and the empty seats increase. There is little structure to the show, and when a troupe of dancers appears on stage it is more confusing than comedic. There are several nods to the likes of Dave Gorman but, while the ideas could have some mileage, they’re brushed over and it’s onto the next desultory one, culminating in a request for the entire audience to get on stage and sing a Christmas song. He asks throughout: what makes me perform? Well, clearly he loves it. Hopefully he’ll drum up enough solid material to match this desire.