Review: Geoff the Entertainer, The Stand Comedy , Club III & IV (Venue 12)

As WITH his Geordie shipworker turned stand-up character Mick Sergeant, Lee Fenwick’s latest creation, Geoff the Entertainer, is someone who wasn’t dealt the best hand in life. A gentleman of the road, this ebullient tramp shares Sergeant’s defiant refusal to be pitied.

* * *

Fully inhabited by Fenwick and generally sympathetic, he’s nevertheless overconfident in his entertaining capacity. Indeed, so close are the two that you have to wonder what’s the point?

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He establishes an amusing guessing game with the audience regarding the stains on his trousers. But other, slightly darker set-pieces – such as when he invites a volunteer to supposedly travel through time with him or demands that we provide him with birthday presents from our pockets – hint at a troubled soul. So it’s a shame that this disturbed side doesn’t feature more prominently in the half hour or so of aimless banter and interaction surrounding it.

The show picks up a bit when he abruptly leads everyone out of his room for a diverting promenade roam around The Stand III & IV’s building, in the guise of a ghost tour. But it carries the faint whiff of desperation for a concept being stretched to breaking point.

Until tomorrow. Today 9:20pm.