John Kearns: Sight Gags for Perverts
Absurdism can be one of the more tedious forms of comedy and, during the opening section of this show, when Kearns is wearing an inflatable horse costume and singing disco songs and shouting non sequiturs, it feels like the start of what's going to be a very long hour.
The twist here is that Kearns begins to break out of character a little, wondering aloud what his parents and co-workers must make of him. He also pauses to think about the nature of comedy, playing a long passage from a Woody Allen interview about what it takes to make it as a comedian, and it adds a little sadness to proceedings. He's a little like The Fast Show's Colin Hunt, standing at the mirror, staring at his zany tie and wondering what happened to his life.
Kearns also breaks the fourth wall in the other direction, pulling audience members into his sketches and transporting them to Berlin through the power of mime. The climax is a sight gag about poo which, if not quite for perverts, is definitely for those with a seriously puerile sense of humour. A slightly patchy show that can't quite decide whether it wants to be daft fun or clever satire, but manages to be a bit of both. Kearns keeps the audience laughing through sheer energy and determination which, according to Woody Allen's standards, proves that he probably does have what it takes to make it as a comedian. [Bernard O'Leary]