Gareth Richards @ Whistlebinkies, PBH Free Fringe

An unchallenging hour from a former Newcomer nominee

Review by Polly Glynn | 11 Aug 2016

The Halo Effect is a psychological concept about how first impressions really do count. As a likeable man, Gareth Richards certainly makes a decent impression although it unfortunately peters out across the hour.

It’s a thoroughly low-key affair with a set primarily based on the perils of parenthood, interspersed with a few songs on his fantastic Q-Chord (a strange looking instrument made by Suzuki in the 90s).

However, the songs only showcase his musical ability, and sadly not his comedic writing. They’re far too long and the humour elicited is minimal. There are also a few lyrical clangers, referencing ‘paedos’ and ‘gays’, embedded into an otherwise clean set. If it's supposed to be ironic, it doesn’t work, and Richards relies too heavily on his likeability to coast through these sections.

It’s certainly an amiable and relatable performance and there are some great ideas; the last act about an experience at Build-a-Bear Workshop is particularly memorable. But overall, The Halo Effect makes for an uninspiring hour of comedy.

Gareth Richards: The Halo Effect, Whistlebinkies, 6-28 Aug (not 18), 2.45 pm, PBH Free Fringe