Organised fun is one of those phrases that can evoke different emotional responses from people. Most of us will have an idea of what it includes, and may even have favourites, and if we take away one thing from this show is that Ivo Graham is vehemently opposed to two truths and a lie. Graham’s Organised Fun fails to deliver on the rather confused expectations that we may have for this show.
Proves as to why when people say ‘organised fun,’ we can very much expect the opposite
In a nutshell, Graham tries to combine stand-up and the tradition of organised fun, that is of gathering people together and forcing them to play games. The show starts off well with Graham requesting audience members to choose his outfit in 30 seconds, which seems to set the tone of the show, but instead goes downhill from there. Because whilst we can buy into these short 30 second Taskmaster-esque vignettes, how Graham eventually structures the show doesn’t quite work with the stand-up format, eventually leading us to realise that Organised Fun is less about the practical element and more about Graham’s hyperfixation on games and Top Trumps. Admittedly, Graham’s observations about the form is mildly entertaining, every so often delivering a hilarious zinger that tides us over until the next one, which despite his staccato-like pace only happens every so often.
Relying heavily on audience participation is risky, as it means a comedian can’t always control what is going to happen and has to think on their feet in order to maintain the energy. This is something that Graham is very good at, as he’s able to direct and engage with audience members with humorous consequences. Graham is self-aware enough to realise that there is a large degree of faffing about at the end, but it’s to the point where we do feel inclined to check out of the last ten minutes of the show. Because why should we care or want to watch two strangers (volunteers chosen from those who managed to get the venue’s wifi to work and submit Graham’s form beforehand) complete several paltry tasks, most of which are too small for us to really see? More time is spent on Graham's pentathlon than it’s worth, and alongside the arbitrary points system, it makes little sense to include it at all.
Organised Fun is an interesting experiment on Graham’s part, but his execution of it is flawed. If anything, it proves as to why when people say ‘organised fun,’ we can very much expect the opposite.