Geoff Norcott: Conswervative

Geoff Norcott, as he points out quite early on in his set, has not been seen on television. On the face of it, this is a real shame; he's photogenic enough, and has the kind of sharp-witted jokes that would go down well on screen. Except… Showing remarkable restraint (or assuming that his audiences are intelligent enough to work it out for themselves) he resists labouring the join-the-dots – that the reason he’s not made it onto any of the panel games brimming with stand-up comedians is because his politics are considered “wrong”. For Norcott is a self-declared Conservative voter; he does insist, though, that he’s not a Tory.

Norcott is like many a politically-minded stand-up at the moment, desperately forced to tear up his script given the speed of political changes in the last few months

Regarding ‘the Tories’ he makes just as damning comments about Theresa May’s “Cabinet of James Bond Villains” as any so-called left-leaning comedian you might find on the Fringe. You sense this isn’t just out of some precautionary form of self-defence; he actually means it. Norcott is like many a politically-minded stand-up at the moment, desperately forced to tear up his script given the speed of political changes in the last few months, though Norcott admits to voting Leave himself.

If he’s tough on the Conservative Government, though, it’s not because he thinks much of the alternatives. He’s quick enough to mock goody-two-shoe liberals and lovers of Owen Jones (the Guardian columnist). Yet a significant proportion of the show isn’t about such Westminster Bubble tittle-tattle; he instead tries to explain how the experiences of his life influenced his politics. Norcott makes something out of how he grew up on an estate – though not one which employed a gamekeeper – and is the progeny of a long line of Labour supporters. (His dad was a lifelong trade unionist.) He, himself, was a teacher and JobCentre staffer. Sweating away at the coalface of education and employment, however, has given him a significantly different point of view, on the balance between charity and tough love, than you might expect.

There’s absolutely no doubting that Norcott is a funny guy; he’s good at setting up and delivering punchlines. If he occasionally asks – without a tinge of sarcasm – for his 'safe space', he’s equally open to feedback, designating the last quarter of the show with a Heckle Amnesty. In this respect, Fringe word-of-mouth is clearly spreading; while some early reviews noted a lack of audience come-backs; that’s shifting, not least because the show is beginning to attract people willing enough to publicly declare that they voted Conservative in 2015. It appears that even Norcott finds that somewhat disconcerting; but he’s clever enough to roll with it for some serious comedic results.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

★★
Traverse Theatre

W*nk Buddies

★★★
Traverse Theatre

Pride Plays

★★★★
Multiple Venues

Oor Wullie

★★★★
Oran Mor / Traverse Theatre

Fly Me To The Moon

★★★★
Platform / Traverse Theatre

The Panopticon

★★★★

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

A trade unionist's son who grew up on a council estate, Geoff Norcott is wondering how he ended up leaning to the right. A motley South London upbringing may be the root of his more provocative views in this brand new 'satirically incisive' (Scotsman) hour of stand-up. 'Norcott is an absolute tonic' **** (Telegraph). 'Master of anecdotal story-telling' **** (Edinburgh Festivals). 'Genuine iconoclast... more importantly he makes it funny' (Chortle.co.uk). Writing credits include Channel 4's Alternative Election, The Sarah Millican Television Programme, 8 Out of 10 Cats and The Now Show.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Only Fools and Horses - The Musical

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets