Uplifting excellence that stays on the right side of nostalgia
Here’s a comedian who’s having a good Fringe. Joel Dommett’s not exactly a seething pit of negativity on a normal day, but his decision to go on the Free Fringe has made him even more sickeningly smiley. The Counting House is a great room for comedy and he has packed houses.
Plus, he’s got a very funny show to boot. Finding Emo, the tale of him trying to get his teenage band back together 16 years after their one and only gig in a cricket pavilion, is a cracker.
Dommett comes across as the unlikely emo, not nearly rebellious or damaged enough to pull it off – summed up beautifully in his petty revenge at his bandmate for sleeping with the love of his young life. A couple of standout moment include his tale of a chilli-eating competition while hosting an MTV show, and also his excruciating playback of one of his songs recorded in his adolescence. Not many people would have the self-confidence to stick on such a recording for other people’s amusement (the moody, try-hard lyrics are hilarious), but it’s an inspired move to do so.
Elsewhere there is some horsing around with a confetti cannon, which Dommett handles adeptly when it goes awry; and there’s some cunning manipulation of the crowd’s heart-strings which he then flips on its head.
Dommett is an outstanding storytelling comic and this is a feel-good show with lots of laughs. It entirely deserved the raucous reception it got on the night I attended.
Review written by Paul Fleckney