Tom Bell: Tom Bell Begins

Article by Simon Fielding | 22 Aug 2011
  • Tom Bell – Tom Bell Begins

Tom Bell's journey from an obscure village near Nottingham to his life as a London-based stand up is framed by the hallmarks of a Hollywood thriller in this eclectic show of songs, dancing, games and shouting. Ushered in by dark layers of synthetic sound, Bell establishes himself as a likeable host, able to offset some of the thinner material here with his natural zest.

Straightforward storytelling collides with stretches of meandering innovation on lost love, fishing and an edifying magazine called Love It! Bell's interactive ,pantomime style shout-along to Love It!'s headlines showcases his intelligence and enthusiasm, and he could easily make more of this section.

The narrative thread of Tom Bell Begins is rather tattered by the end of the hour, and not all of the material appears to be within the performer's control. Contained within a shorter, leaner, twenty minute club set, the routines on an Australian comic and the aforementioned magazine would undoubtedly hit the target. However, the story supposedly holding everything together lacks the coherence to sustain a full-length show.

Tom Bell: Tom Bell Begins, Just the Tonic at The Tron, Until Aug 28, £7/£8.50