Christian Talbot: C60

A near universal truth about comics is that they will bear some sort of emotional scars from their childhood. In Christian Talbot’s case, it was in response to being made perform in front of his family various Osmond family-esque pop tunes. Finding that it was becoming less and less cute with each passing year, all he was left with was a comic’s innate need for validation and a love of music.

guiding the audience through his mixtape do’s and don’ts, opinioning on the importance of choosing good funeral music

The show is essentially a love letter in spoken form, Talbot charting various events in his life that have concentrated around his love of music. His first childhood crush, his first teenage gig, the time he was taught to cook in Italy are all set against a soundtrack provided by Blondie, REM, and The Smiths. Comparisons with John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity are no doubt appropriate and Talbot does not shy away from this, guiding the audience through his mixtape do’s and don’ts, opinioning on the importance of choosing good funeral music, and revelling, as so many teenage boys his age did, in being able to disappear for hours at a time with only a set of headphones and stack of vinyls for company.

The show is billed as ‘Stand-up, Storytelling’ but it is definitely more the latter than the former, the cosy spaces in the Underbelly Med Quad the ideal venue for what is a very laidback hour. There are jokes and one-liners peppered throughout, either as throwaway lines between sections or as punchlines to anecdotes. Unfortunately, these have a tendency to fall flat – they weren’t unfunny in themselves but just jarred a bit in the context of the tone of the rest of the show. In trying to inject some pace in places where it wasn’t really necessary, Talbot slipped from time to time between comedic stools – some narratives fizzled out while others ended that bit too abruptly.

The closing section however is Talbot at his best with a tale that involves a Morrissey cassette, a lump of frozen mincemeat, a transatlantic homicide investigation, and a really clever exchange of letters between Talbot and the defendant. C60 has a lot of heart and what it sometimes lacks in laughs is more than made up by the warmth and ease of Talbot’s stage presence. 

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Performances

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The Blurb

A whole C60 cassette of stand-up comedy about music, mixtapes and recording Top of the Pops off the telly. Join Christian Talbot on journey covering great pop music myths, how best to retrieve a CD from a murder scene, starring in a Howard Jones video and turning down autographs from over-enthusiastic rock stars. Winner of the 2014 Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award. 'An absolutely engaging performer. The woman next to me nearly dislocated something, so much was she laughing. Can't say fairer than that' (Scotsman).

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