Liam Malone @ Gilded Balloon Old Tolbooth

Paralympic Gold Medalist Liam Malone punches in all directions in this dark debut

Review by Thomas Hamill | 12 Aug 2019
  • Liam Malone @ Gilded Balloon Tollbooth

Liam Malone gets straight to the punch with a dark anecdote about disabled parking where he finds himself up against someone with quadriplegia. The joke’s conclusion makes so much clear; nothing is off limits for this guy. Stephen Hawking, French dwarves (or is it little people? He doesn’t seem to care) and cancer patients all get their fair share of satirisation in this irreverent hour. The only sign of reprehension from Malone is when he follows up a dark punchline with ‘“terrible, terrible” but this too, seems to be touched with irony.

Malone starts off somewhat tense, rattling through his material without much acknowledgement of his audience, but as the hour progresses he seems to find a groove. Whilst he has a great flair for dark material, his punchlines don’t consistently hit. His irreverence occasionally oversteps the mark, going for jokes that get more disdain than laughter, although this is just a matter of taste. That said, his anecdote on Oscar Pistorius makes the hour more than worthwhile, and proves that he has great potential as a writer and performer as he rails off as many barbs as possible in the South African’s direction.

It’s a strong debut and certainly there’s some wonderfully dark nuggets amongst the set. It will be interesting to see Malone refine his style as his comedic career continues.

Liam Malone: No LimbitsGilded Balloon at Old Tolbooth Market (Bottom), until 25 Aug (not 13), 7.45pm, £6/PWYW