Eric Lampaert: Testiculating @ The Counting House
When a show begins before it begins, with spindly kookster Eric Lampaert successfully recreating the iconic Dirty Dancing lift with a punter, it sets the bar pretty high. Graduating to the sizeable ballroom of the Counting House, his reputation rewards him with an enthusiastic full house. It’s clear from the dancing, singing and casual audience interaction that Lampaert is at ease with the performer-punter dynamic, displaying a cool comic ease that grounds the show, despite the madcap material.
The show is a tangential, circuitous hour borne from the idea that he’s trapped in his own head. The premise builds a freshly discovered lust for life – a side-effect of a horrifically botched appendectomy. Lampaert manages to successfully send himself up without using his flaws as shorthand to bond with the room. Any self-referential material stays far from the usual deprecatory musings that have become almost de rigueur in the British comedy scene, which is a refreshing change for a young comic. His material displays natural comic flair and the knack for a decent hook. While the material meanders, each skit grounds itself in a point – something often missing from more abstract comedy musings. Veering away from safer observational material, Lampaert delivers a 'neurotica' monologue, illustrating the downsides of an over-active mind to hilarious end. Exploring the less-traditional delivery style really works for him, and should prove enough comic bite to take him to the next level.
The show is action-packed and rapid, but it's also engaging and peppered with enough big laughs to hold the crowd. It’s a confidently delivered and an especially tight hour for a Free Fringe offering, and Lampaert is insightful, likeable and easy to watch. We’ll be seeing a lot more of him. [Vonny Moyes]