Review: Paul Tonkinson – “Fancy Man”, Bradford Alhambra, 09/02/2013
When? Saturday 9th February 2013
Where? The Studio (Alhambra), Bradford
Who? Paul Tonkinson
I’m sure in the stand up comedy circuit there is an unwritten book of ground rules among performers, e.g. Rule No.1: Don’t be late to your own gig. Unfortunately, the evening got off to a bad start when Tonkinson was seen running through the Studio Bar five minutes after he was due on stage. When he did make an appearance, almost twenty minutes late, the Yorkshire comedian appeared visibly flustered and distressed, blaming his SatNav for his tardiness. Struggling to get into his rhythm for twenty uncomfortable minutes, which he constantly apologised for, Tonkinson promised that this would not be the “worst gig of the tour”, despite the hurrendous start and flat, thinly spread audience.
After he had warmed up, however, Tonkinson got into his stride and put on a safe evening of tried and tested comedy. Subjects included the joys (and perils) of being a Father, his journey to “fame” and plenty about being a Yorkshireman gone south.
However, much of Tonkinson’s material seemed oddly irrelevant; most notably a fairly lengthy segment on Tim Henman (who cares?) which could’ve been funny back in the mid-to-late 1990′s (where much of Tonkinson’s life experience was seemingly learned). At one point the comic asked the audience if they liked football, referencing the Premier League, before immediately talking about rugby, seemingly confusing the two sports completely. I am completely flummoxed by the show’s lead title “Fancy Man” as he did nothing at all to expand on this, but perhaps I’m missing something there. A couple of times Tonkinson uncomfortably straddled the line between self-deprecation and awkwardness. opening the second act by pointing out a couple (who may or may not have been gay) had left at the interval; he appeared genuinely hurt. I like Tonkinson as a presence, but this was disappointing.
A gig to forget for Tonkinson, who I’m sure is capable of much better, and not one that many of the thin audience will be writing home about, despite the occasional moment of wit and charm.
- Harry Zing