Laurie Rowan, Nicholas Cooke and Keiron Nicholson: Gentlemen Bears
Bears don’t often get a platform on the PBH Free Fringe, so the barrage of bear jokes from Laurie Rowan was certainly a break from the norm. The combination of aggressive manner and slightly long pauses didn’t quite capture the audience, but the bear was the furry compere, soon handing over to his comedy colleague Keiron Nicholson. Nicholson delivered his geeky Glaswegian humour in a relaxed and laid back fashion. His hugely funny stand up routine is of a vaguely sciency bent, and includes the Scottish satellite that contains ‘hunners’ of science. He casts Scottish Power as a white supremacist movement and reveals he gets emails from Batman. I would gladly have listened to a full hour’s set from Nicholson, but the grumpy bear returned to introduce Nicholas Cooke.
Cooke shows how solitude can lead to obsession with his epic monologue about the secret saviour of the world, Will Smith. This tale builds from a slow fuse that takes a while to catch the crowd. His obsession fuels it and it eventually sparks and fizzes into amusing life. The audience can’t help but be swept along by the tidal wave of passion. This slow burner builds to a dramatic conclusion and finally a punchline worth waiting for.