Punchline @ TheSpace at Surgeons' Hall

Review by Antony Sammeroff | 19 Aug 2013

There are many kinds of comedy. Black comedy, shadenfreude (laughter at the expense of others), fish comedy – or should I say surrealism, and more to boot. Loaded with quips, Ross Ericson's punchline is a punchily compiled appraisal of the pedantry of the pen, deftly delivered by his three piece who play off one another so seemlessly you'd almost think it had been scripted!

Adam wants to write a stand-up comedy set, amongst unsupportive friends who keep bringing him back to the harsh realities. Should he listen to the little voice that says he's cut out for something more than this, that he is actually super special and destined for greatness if he only puts his mind to it, or instead simply extract some fake sense of efficaciousness from playing on the computer? After all, we all hear the voice sometimes, it's just that most of us have the sense to ignore it.

There is much humour here and witty writing, but the story fails to fully develop. After identifying Adam's niche in the kind of sardonic humour where he can self-deprecate and lament the world at large, it would be interesting to see these three mismatched flatmates work together towards compiling him a set, encountering growing pains that peeve and wrangle all the way. Instead the piece wavers a little into obscurity, despite the good writing.

Punchline @ theSpace at Surgeons' Hall, 1.05pm, Until 24 Aug, various prices, www.gristtheatre.co.uk http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/theatre/punchline