Joe Bor: In Search of the Six Pack
  • By Tom King
  • |
  • 20th Aug 2011
  • |
  • ★★★★

Joe Bor stands out by sheer force of personality. As a set-up-and-pay-off comedian of the old school, the style of his show is fairly standard but he has a natural charm which draws an audience in and immediately gets them onside.As the title suggests, the show is based around Bor’s attempts to man up after he sees a picture of his girlfriend’s manly plumber ex: Mitch. Along the way he attempts to analyse what makes an attractive man, contests with the trials of trying to seem manly at the gym and explores how his image of himself as a man relates to that of his father.It’s when using personal material like the latter that Bor is strongest. Whether it’s discussing his Jewish father’s moral dilemma with drinking German beer or describing how odd Christmas is when your mum’s an anti-capitalist. These sections are told with warmth, humour and affection. This even extends to when he talks about his French lothario housemate, a character who reappears several times throughout the show, offering him sage lifestyle advice such as ‘take more baths – with bubbles’.For the rest of the show Bor relies heavily on his engaging manner and rapport with the audience. This is not to suggest that the rest of his prepared material is in any way weak but it does suggest that some performances are likely to be stronger than others.There are a few misfires in the show and they mainly occur when Bor steps outside of his traditional structure. Attempts to work in a couple of comic songs seem like a token effort and an animated section about a meal out serves only to disrupt his flow. There’s also a tendency to rely overmuch on characterising himself as a middle-class wimp which seems a little tame.Joe Bor – In Search of the Six-Pack is a confident, assured solo show. Though it could have benefited from a little more focus and a little more daring, an hour with Bor is one which will keep you constantly amused and will leave you smiling. Warm, funny and very, very charming.

Reviews by Tom King

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A Fortunate Man

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

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★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

★★★
CanadaHub @ King's Hall in association with Summerhall

Famous Puppet Death Scenes

★★★★
Assembly George Square Gardens

Jess Robinson: No Filter

★★★★

The Blurb

Award-winning comedian shares his story of struggle trying to get a six-pack. Winner: Best Value Show, Leicester Comedy Festival 2010. 'Natural comic ability' (Chortle.co.uk), 'Endearingly, winningly funny’ (Scotsman). Directed by Phil Nichol.