Ian Smith – Flappable

The chatty Yorkshire patter of Ian Smith’s comedy offers an incredibly relatable show in the Pleasance comedy programme at this year’s festival. While taking some time to warm into the act, by the end of this observational hour Smith has got the audience entirely on his side, with Flappable proving an interesting and entertaining showcase of his ever blossoming comedic talents.

While Smith has not yet reached the full fruition of his comic potential, his more original material outweighing the cooler anecdotes at the outset of the show, this is a promising performance from a comic who definitely has a lot to give.

Smith begins the set with some more well trodden comedy tropes, ranting about the failings of train services and the dangers of leaving a free seat next to you. Smith’s rapport with the audience admitted takes quite a few gags to gel. Some banter with the punters works well and gets the biggest laughs at the outset, the young comedian chatting easily with audience members while and showing off his quick and sharp responses to comments.

The theme of the show is uncertainty, with the bookends of the performance being the top Google searches for questions beginning what..., why..., how... and where.... Smith’s then explores why people are searching the internet for these answers, questioning the absurdity of our apparent priorities as a modern society. The humour extracted from these points is both entertaining and illuminating as Smith’s exasperated dissection of the questions at hand turns to hilarious frustration.

The show lifts massively into the second half, with the material feeling much more natural as it gets more original, a more sincere side of Smith appearing in his stories. A skit about recasting characters in soaps and a fan letter regarding Smith’s three-second appearance on a BBC drama are hilariously well observed in their delivery, his comedic exasperation proving hilarious as he grows more and more irate. Drawing the hour to an end with a summing up of the questions explored at the outset, the comical close is the perfect note to end the show on. While Smith has not yet reached the full fruition of his comic potential, his more original material outweighing the cooler anecdotes at the outset of the show, this is a promising performance from a comic who definitely has a lot to give.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

After a successful debut, award-winning comedian Ian Smith (BBC2’s Popatron, BBC3’s Sweat the Small Stuff) returns with his new show. It’s about silliness and uncertainty … or is it? (It is.) It'll be a lot of fun. Ian once had a line of dialogue in a BBC2 drama and was denied a spoon on a train – so the show has emotional depth too. 'Fantastically funny' (Times). 'Delightfully offbeat writing, a talent for sure' (Chortle.co.uk). 'The hour goes by in a whirlwind of hysterical laughter' **** (BroadwayBaby.com). ***** (ThreeWeeks). **** (Metro). **** (One4Review.co.uk). **** (TheNewCurrent.co.uk).

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