Comedy review: Geoff Norcott Is Good In A Crisis

Bitter-sweet laughs are therapy for Geoff Norcott at Camden Fringe.

Building an hour’s worth of stand-up around a series of unpleasant events – including the death of his mum from cancer – Geoff Norcott proves he’s no faint-hearted comic.

Not for him the barrage of one-liners or bonkers trajectories, although there are flashes of both in this work-in-progress aimed at next year’s Edinburgh Festival, played out in the snug Etcetera.

He picks up and runs with a selection of crises we’re all likely to encounter at some point, from the death of a pet to a night in A&E. But its heaviest focus is on his mother’s death and dealing with grief.

The odd funny observation is thrown in amongst the narrative, but understandably this is no rolling-in-the-aisles comedic assault.

He pokes a bit of fun at the grieving process, and the brief sojourn into the life and death of his dog is amusing enough, particularly an observational turn comparing a dogs’ home to Amsterdam’s red light district.

The odd burst of music is a nice touch too, giving another dimension to the comedy, and his delivery is engaging and he interacts comfortably with the audience.

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But it’s hard to shake the feeling that Norcott started out on this show as a cathartic exercise, and is perhaps still a little too close to the subject to unearth the gold.

* Shown at the Camden Fringe Festival, Etcetera Theatre, Camden High Street, NW1, from August 7-9.