Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall: Success Arms

At first glance, Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall appears a mild mannered, softly spoken young man, cutting an endearing figure as he gently chatted with the audience throughout the show, never failing to engage directly during his set piece material. However, this image of the shy, unassuming comic belies his utterly filthy material, including graphically detailed sections describing genitalia and an extended joke about… well, piss.

Trembley-Birchall certainly has a way with words, painting quirky images in your mind’s eye and drawing you along with the joke until you can't help but laugh.

That's not to say that Tremblay-Birchall is relying on rude words to get a laugh, or spouting any kind of misogynist "banter". The ruder sections gain their comedy from a very human, matter of fact approach, and any shock value that the jokes may have is cut with flights of fancy, whimsical asides that soften the blow and make the simplistic style a little more three dimensional. A horrifying joke about throwing unsavory objects at the author of The Secret is drawn out to the ridiculous extreme through an extended acting out that creates whimsy from a premise that should, by rights, be merely revolting.

Trembley-Birchall certainly has a way with words, painting quirky images in your mind’s eye and drawing you along with the joke until you can't help but laugh. This is particularly true throughout the opening joke discussing the idea of “success arms”, during which his commitment to the physicality of the joke creates an open vulnerability that instantly wins you over.

Unfortunately, the show tails off a little towards the end, and there is no real pay off or conclusion, just abruptly ending with a thank you and a smile in a way that proved a little unsatisfying. The show is simplistic in form, a list of vaguely connected jokes, with a rhythm and structure that conjures images of a faux brick wall backdrop and spotlight in a late night comedy club, but it's competently performed, and enjoyable to watch, despite a few moments that border on the obscene.

Reviews by Jane Thompson

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Tremendous Canadian-Australian stand-up Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall does a lot of jokes about bleakness, but in a fun way! Since 2009, Tremblay-Birchall has charmed audiences around the world with his unique brand of ‘delightfully quirky stand-up’ (Chortle.co.uk). This year, ATB graces the UK for the first time with jokes so good you'll be bleeding from the ears - in a good way. ‘Seth Rogen meets Woody Allen’ **** (Herald Sun). ‘Delightfully quirky stand-up that offers treats for every audience’ (Steve Bennett, Chortle.co.uk). ‘Warm, confident and occasionally absurd’ (TheAge.com.au).

Most Popular See More

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets