Review: Chris Kent – Plugged In, Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

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A PROMISING newcomer, Chris Kent doesn’t do himself justice with his debut Fringe hour. A raw but usually accomplished storyteller, whose yarns tend to feature himself as the butt of the joke, he seems nervous and doesn’t maximise the potential of good routines.

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More inexplicably, he also eschews some solid ones for less impressive tales, his account of finding a dead sheep in New Zealand meandering on and on, never once looking likely to alight on the wit he’s capable of.

With a backstory as an electrician, the Irishman establishes himself as a potential disaster area, crossing his fingers in his native Cork whenever he witnesses a fire engine screaming past, hoping he’s not the cause. That’s as nothing compared to his father though, drunkenly crashing through the family porch and blaming it on everything but the drink.

A misdirected conga line at his 21st birthday, his physical likeness to a racist footballer and his near-initiation into porn, Kent colours his tales with just the right level of detail to afford them authenticity. This is reinforced by an often stilted, unaffected delivery, which on a night like tonight when he’s failing to nail everything, really works against him.

Until tomorrow. Today 9pm.