Comedian Dies In The Middle Of A Joke

Review by Bernard O'Leary | 23 Aug 2012
  • Comedian Dies In The Middle Of A Joke

With a remarkably broad appeal, this is the perfect show for anyone who has ever wanted to be a comedian, heckle a comedian, murder a comedian, or just wants to spend an afternoon trying on silly clothes from the 80s.

On November 11th, 1983, Joe 'Pops' Pooley was dying at a comedy club in London when an unidentified gunman shot him while he was on stage. Almost 30 years later, we have gathered together to recreate the murder over and over in the hope of glimpsing the reason for his death.

What's that mean in practice? Everyone in the audience has a character, everyone has instructions on what to heckle and how to behave, one of us gets to be the comedian and perform the fatal set. It takes about 5 minutes, we switch around and then it starts again.

Host and creator of the show, Ross Sutherland, explains that we will get better at heckling at each iteration. He's right and that's what gives the show its spark, as the audience start to figure out the best heckles to ensure a proper onstage death, while the actual story unfolds in slightly more detail each time. There's no big reveal at the end (although there is a slight twist) but out of all the meditations on the performer/audience dynamic at the Fringe, this one is definitely the most fun.

Comedian Dies In The Middle Of A Joke, Pleasance Dome, until 27 August, 14:30, £10.50/£9.50