Upstaged by both his support act and the stage design, Ricky Gervais fails to find the winning formula for Science, says Julian Hall.
It seems that Ricky Gervais’ Hollywood career is getting in the way of his stand up. At least that is the only conclusion one can draw to explain why Science fares so badly in comparison to his three previous tours. Though he has never been big on sticking to a theme, Science is merely collection of comedy doodles; a comedy-by-numbers dissection of the Noah’s Ark story, some weak observations on Oscar Wilde quotes and on swearing on TV, plus a moderately amusing tale of one of Ken Dodd’s strange female fans pleasuring herself while she watches her hero. Oh, and did I mention the dodgy rape joke? It is bitterly disappointing to watch a show like this after seeing a number of Fringe shows that have demonstrated so much more ambition and imagination. Even the show’s set that replicated Frankenstein’s castle laboratory was more absorbing than its star. Meanwhile, the comedy hero of the night was surely Gervais’ support Stewart Francis who provided a flawless warm up set with a string of fabulous jokes. Gervais came on stage to The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again and some of his fans could be forgiven for thinking the exact same thing as they left the theatre. Two stars