Light Relief

Geoff Cotton’s show is a mix of sketches, comedy songs, stand-up and satire. While having all the elements for a satisfying Fringe frolic, Cotton just misses the mark with Light Relief, with the elements of the show sitting together somewhat uncomfortably in the 60-minute stint.

While the clue may be in the title, the comedy in this show is not riotous, nor is it hilarious. The ‘Party Political Broadcasts’ delivered by Geoff Cotton toe the line of political satire but just miss the mark, eliciting chuckles from the audience, but nothing greater. These were followed by a misplaced 50 Shades of Grey parody, in which a series of excruciatingly graphic innuendos cast a stunned silence over the room – perhaps a sketch which would have killed in a show that was more crude throughout, but which made for a sour taste in this show.

The main element of the show, as well as the most amusing, was the comedy songs performed on live guitar at several intervals. Starting out with the harmless but ultimately witty ‘Vegetarian Boyfriend Blues’ which highlighted the perils of turning to ‘the green side’ to get a girl into bed, the simple and well observed parody blues music kept the emphasis and focus where it should be: on the lyrics. A further highlight of the music was ‘Old James Bond’ which was very cleverly written and well performed, with Mr Bond lamenting old age and his inability to perform (nudge nudge, wink wink). However, ending this with a less-than-tasteful joke about suicide did ruin the melancholy humour of the skit.

The best part of the show was the support of Helen Forster, playing the sexy sidekick and female roles throughout the show. Bringing a real spark of energy to the stage, Helen gave a great performance as many characters, including a topless model – Traci – in a well-observed song about page-three celebrity culture.

While there were amusing moments, this show did not stand up against the comedy greats and musical genius you find so often at the Fringe, leaving an unsatisfying feeling that with a little more work and little more refining, the jokes could have been punchier and the execution funnier.

Reviews by Andy Smith

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The Blurb

Award-winning comedy show featuring songs and guests, including James Bond, Fifty Shades, Sacha Distilled, Page 3 Traci, footballer Terry Johnson and a caption competition!`Real originality ... highly entertaining' (Stage). `Old James Bond ... a melancholy delight' (AYoungerTheatre.com). www.geoffcottonsongs.com