Alastair Clark: Getting Better

Alastair Clark is not getting better. Although likeable and occasionally insightful, this young comedian’s set is too depressing to really cut it as stand-up comedy. With a set on Franz Kafka, Goosebumps books and his own mental health, Clark makes a real effort to relate to the audience and at time it pays off. But with continual, excessive self-deprecation and little comedic relief, Clark’s set is too much to handle.

Clark is gifted when put on the spot and it is oddly heart-warming to see him use the audience to get back to his feet.

Opening the show dressed as a Beetle, Clark shows potential discussing Kafka’s Metamorphosis, but fails to use this as a springboard for the rest of his show. Instead, the opening feels like a vehicle for Clark to discuss his own depression and he promptly does just that. I feel for Clark since the experiences he talks about are clearly his own, but no stand-up comic can forget that the end goal is to make an audience laugh. While Clark drops amusing quips here and there, there is an immaturity in his comedy and he is uncomfortably unprepared at times.

On more than one occasion he admirably recovers from almost bombing completely, but he rarely gets very far. When he gets into rhythm, sections on his experience with driving lessons and Goosebumps string together an amusing few minutes of comedy, but even here Clark has a tendency to pursue a line of thought which isn’t as relatable as it could be.

In a somewhat redeeming way, several of the funniest moments come when Clark forgets his own material. Although it still has that sad undertone, Clark is gifted when put on the spot and it is oddly heart-warming to see him use the audience to get back to his feet. There’s no denying that Clark is an intelligent, likeable guy, but this material just isn’t ready for performance.

Reviews by Max Falkenberg

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The Blurb

Clark is an outsider. A renegade. He don’t play by the rules. He's on the edge. Too on the edge. Dangerously close to the edge. Can I come down now? A comedy show about depression ft Franz Kafka and Goosebumps. ‘Massively funny’ ***** (LSM). ‘Genuinely funny and extremely clever’ **** ( ‘Intelligent and ambitious’ **** ( ‘One of the most prolific young alternative stand ups’ (