Ping Pong is an energetic game usually involving two or four people, but this latest stand-up show from Alistair Green is very much a one-man endeavour, with the only significant badinage between him and the audience being while he's welcoming a few late-comers. Otherwise, it's Green all the way; leaping from subject to subject, tossing comments and one-liners to the audience but never quite building up the kind of long serve you might hope for.
His material is good, though; the kind of genuinely funny and thought-provoking musings that Green makes his own, whether it's about comedians not being allowed credit or wondering why people seem to be so aggressive these days. Turning to Reality TV and a recent royal birth is possibly too clichéd already, though Green at least gives these subjects a slight twist with his doubts about the importance of such people being 'nice'. Yet, no sooner has he started building up a comedic momentum than there's a dramatic pause and the monologue has turned to a different topic; local shops, the complications of mother-son relationships, or how joining any protest march inevitably leads to you compromising your individualism.
Possibly the most effective section of the show is when Green admits that, although he's now reached the age where medical problems are a growing concern, in some respects life is so much less stressful now he no longer cares about body hair sprouting in unexpected parts of his body, or people noticing certain stains on his clothes.
Yet some things do still get to him; for example, the slippage in the use of the word 'rape' or the fact that he can no longer claim to be a 'geek' in the modern, Hollywood meaning of the word. These are the moments when Green really flies; for the rest of the time, it's simply an entertaining and amusing enough hour but not the speedy game you might have expected from the title.