Stewart Francis: 148 People Can't Be Wrong - 7 Mar, Blackfriars Basement
Francis cuts a laid back figure on stage and his amiable Canadian drawl only accentuates the tongue digging into his cheek.
I'm a one liner comedian, not a storyteller, says the easy going Canadian comic, "let me tell you how it all began..." This is stand up from the old school, the type that used to have drum rolls and symbol crashes but tonight is punctuated by laughter, the occasional snort and in one person's case, a pocketful of change hitting the floor. "Hey, the penny's dropped," ad libs Francis to a fresh wave of hysterics. And with so many punchlines, the pennies are raining down. Francis cuts a laid back figure on stage and his amiable Canadian drawl only accentuates the tongue digging into his cheek. There is an old fashioned, cartoonish quality to him; instead of a knowing wink he grins broadly at the audience, as if to say 'don't worry, I wasn't really gang raped on a regular basis, it's just for laughs'. The material isn't stand alone cracker lines, but personal quips about his life which includes a racist caricature of his Scottish wife that raises the biggest laugh for its sheer outrageous silliness. Some joke merchants lose momentum when the audience get wise to it, but Francis keeps a step ahead in this well crafted and delightfully twisted show. [Emma Lennox]