Joe Fairbrother has talent in abundance. If a good, strong, lunchtime comedian is one who can involve many audience members in his show while keeping them feeling totally relaxed, then this performance certainly achieves these goals. A long-haired, overgrown, slightly nervous looking student he may seem, but his comedy show is a dynamic mix of character sketches and personal experiences, making a terrific lunchtime comedy blend.
Upon Fairbrother’s arrival onto stage, you immediately feel at ease; he shook hands with every member of the audience and involved a great many of them throughout his show – but never in a way that might have made anyone feel uncomfortable. The link to the title is swiftly, and in comical fashion, cleared up. Following an unfortunate incident of vomiting as a schoolchild upon hearing Meat Loaf’s ‘I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do that)’ from the car’s cassette player, Fairbrother’s family kept a shell-suit in the boot of the car - just in case a change of clothes was ever needed again.
The interactive nature of the show works especially when his characters come into play. The first – a Yorkshire man determined to find a conspiracy theory in everything from fish fingers through to cheese ploughmans, might not always be the funniest but it didn’t seem to matter at this early stage, as the audience experienced the versatility that Fairbrother displays. The chairman of a village hall AGM involves the audience more while his final character, the host of an ITV4 game-show called ‘Non-Celebrity Dog Fight’, again involving two unsuspecting members of the audience, is hilarious.
Best of all – and Fairbrother rightly highlights this as the climax of the show – is the ‘Pivot Chart Challenge’, with another audience member set an impossible sixty second task to create a chart using Microsoft Excel. There’s so many highlights in the show that you could go on listening for much longer than the fifty minutes allocated. It’s a great fun, friendly, accessible show – and if you’re sitting in the front two rows you are bound to play your own part in it.