Hal Branson: Mbolo 4**** - One4Review
one4review | On 18, Aug 2018
Hal Bronson was having a little boogie to himself on stage as we filtered in (having climbed an utterly unreasonable and not-aforementioned amount of stairs), occasionally indicating, by means of an extendable pointer and projection of show publicity, the he was Hal, man on the flyer and star of the show. It was lovely. He then jumped off stage as the house lights went down in order to announce himself to the stage.
The show centres around Mr Branson’s gap year spent building a school in Uganda. But it’s really about how the situation came about that he needed to have a gap year in the first place, and the later consequences of that situation. His story is accompanied and evidenced by photos and documents projected on to a screen. I particularly appreciated the pie chart showing the structure of the show.
The pace picked up in the second half, and while the stronger material is there, the show is by no means tortuous – Hal brought a good amount of energy and is an engaging and pleasing speaker. His context and set up for the funny bits are every bit as good as the punchlines themselves, and he came across as self-aware as a comic.
There are some trigger warnings given at the start of the show, but the subjects of those warnings are treated as a fact of Hal’s life which may be pertinent to the story, but are neither fit for comic fodder nor something to wallow over.
Considered and considerate accessible comedy.
Reveiwed by Laura
Just the Tonic at the Mash House, 18:10