Ivo Graham is posh. He sounds posh, looks posh and when he suffers the unfortunate setback of picking on an affluent-looking member of the audience only to find out he’s a friend of his father’s, the impression is confirmed. However, this unfortunate setback doesn’t derail him for long. Because the other thing Ivo Graham is is extremely professional and, for his relative newness to the scene, very polished.
Graham’s material revolves around the trials of being a young fogey in a lads’ world. The bulk will position him as a sort of junior David Mitchell, an exaggeratedly pedantic nerd, tutting about the world around him but secretly wondering if it is just him. His observations on the language used to describe his laddish housemates’ ‘romantic entanglement’ are right on the money. His analogy of losing his driving licence being like Back to the Future might be one of my favourite jokes of the Fringe and his tales of life with his grandmother are, as you might expect, quite gentle but very amusing, adding to the likeability of his stage persona.
On the downside, Graham does lack a certain degree of scope. It’s a common criticism (and one that he happily admits to) that he focuses overly on his lack of success with women and awkwardness in social situations. While not a massive problem, it does lead to a somewhat one-note routine, not helped by him highlighting the fact. Further, funny as he is, his delivery needs work. Graham has a nice tone of voice with his audience but he doesn’t really stop to give us time to laugh, doubtless a symptom of first-Fringe-show nerves.
I really enjoyed Ivo Graham’s brand of self-deprecating humour and I look forward to seeing what he does next. He has a fantastically dry wit which extracts the humour from the situations in which he finds himself. All he needs to do now is get out there and have experiences to feed it with.