Ian Smith: Snowflake

Perhaps you thought, as admittedly I did, that Ian Smith’s 2017 show title was making some kind of reference to the much used and abused colloquial term for “special snowflake” millennials. Well, you would be wrong. From start to finish, Smith’s set is a delightful tangent beyond the world of politics into much more light-hearted matters, and it’s all the better for it.

Non-offensive, non-political, good comic fun that makes a great afternoon’s entertainment.

The anchoring link to the eponymous weather pattern is a recent solo holiday to Tromsø in Norway, which forms the cornerstone to the narrative of this show. We did have a few Norwegians in the crowd tonight, who benefitted from some of the more niche references thrown their way, but this was more than a simple Brits Abroad story: a sprinkling of observations that are woven through seemingly superficial stories all shape the direction of this set, which becomes a celebration of uniqueness and individuality.

The hour flies by in Smith’s capable hands: domestic tales and international adventures intertwine seamlessly, with real camera footage to prove it. I particularly enjoyed the use of a large projection screen to “explain the science” behind complex concepts such as the Aurora Borealis, in a style ranging somewhere between recklessly casual and dangerously haphazard that had the audience in stitches.

Smith neither overplays nor ignores his his Yorkshire roots, and his on-the-spot callbacks to fun facts gathered from the crowd went down an absolute treat. However these moments of interaction with the audience occasionally slowed the pace down much further than I imagine was planned, and some parts felt a little rushed as if to make up for lost time.

If there’s any message that Smith asks us to take away, it’s to never fit into a pattern but to make your own. This is non-offensive, non-political, good comic fun that makes a great afternoon’s entertainment. You will come out smiling, I can guarantee.

Reviews by Katie Rose

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The Blurb

Ian Smith (BBC3's Sweat the Small Stuff) is an award-winning comedian, fuelled by 35p energy drinks. This is his fourth solo show. It's about uniqueness... like everybody else's. Amused Moose Best Fringe Show Nominee 2015 and part of the award-winning Richard Gadd: Waiting for Gaddot. He's also one third of top-charting podcast The Magic Sponge. ‘Catch him now before his inevitable jump to the big time’ (Telegraph). ‘One of the best you will see at the festival’ (Mirror). ‘Proper star quality’ (Guardian). ‘Fantastically funny’ (Times). ***** (ThreeWeeks). ***** (Mirror). Book early!