Ian Smith: Crushing 5***** - One4Review
one4review | On 11, Aug 2023
Ian Smith is such a great storyteller, tirelessly weaving amusing anecdotes and delightfully bizarre observations into an hour of mirth and laughter that rushes past. He masterfully encapsulates and expands irrelevancies into something so much bigger and better than would ever seem possible, and so our chuckles just keep coming.
Ian clearly enjoys entertaining and gently interacting with today’s full house, just the same as with his audiences around the world, but tells us that he finds absolutely everything stressful – indeed he is told he is “disproportionately stressed”. And then recounts a de-stressing experience which didn’t do its job, and how he wasn’t alone in that. This doesn’t sound like a ripe seam for ‘funny’ but it definitely is, partly because he notices and highlights so many small nonsensical things that wouldn’t hold anyone else’s interest for a nanosecond, but he does and to great comedic effect.
And so he skilfully moves onto his current experience as a Northerner on Radio 4 where he suffers from complaints, not about his jokes or accent but something else altogether, which then leads us almost imperceptibly into a lively explanation of how Abigail, one of his stereotypical middleclass London friends, assumes that his Yorkshire accent correlates to an inability to know much about anything.
Much later on, after many huge laughs and smiles across everyone’s faces, there is the sudden realisation about why the show is called Crushing; Ian usually recalls one of his weird off-the-wall adventures as the climax of his shows, and today is no exception.
This unassuming but delightful comedy show, honed by a perfectionist, turns out to be just what a Fringe audience loves with nothing sweary or rude, which many would say is a pleasure in itself especially in the mid-afternoon.
Reviewed by HJ on 10 August 2023
Monkey Barrel Comedy @ The Tron