Tom Goodliffe: The Good Liffe
What's in a name? For Tom Goodliffe, there is a constant reminder in his name that he's not as happy as he could be. The story begins a few years back, when an incident at a tube station caused him to realise that life was not actually all that good.
What follows is a confessional/autobigraphical show in the style beloved of the Fringe, in which Goodliffe traces the decisions that led him to that point. He's a strong storyteller with a good sense of structure and his vignettes are funny and authentic, as he describes clashing with his dad, growing up as a nerd, drifting into a career in accountancy and getting really, really good at Championship Manager.
The pace does sag a little in the middle section, with slightly too many anecdotes and not enough double-entry bookkeeping gags. It detracts a little from the overall narrative, which is a pity because he's spun a very good yarn. There's a terrific ending that neatly connects back to the beginning of the story and fills the audience with a blast of optimism. Good, with hints of better things to come.
Tom Goodliffe: The Good Liffe, Cabaret Voltaire, until August 29, 15:45, £5