Marek Larwood - Typecast

This is a loud and silly show. If you’ve seen the anarchic sitcom We Are Klang you’ll have a vague idea of what to expect; Larwood played a loud bumbling idiot there and he does here too. This is largely the premise of the show: Larwood realises only ever plays bumbling idiots (proving the point with a showreel of his career to date) and so he decides to expand his dramatic range in order to escape the horrific disease of being Typecast.

This becomes a rich source of self-referential comedy, as we follow Larwood’s fictional attempts to relaunch his career through acting, stand-up and appearances on TV panel shows. Needless to say, Larwood is unsuccessful, as each new attempt only reinforces his public image. Much of the show is a kind of ritualised humiliation, with Larwood the perpetual fall-guy to his bored and cynical assistant Sophie. The interaction between comedian and assistant is very funny indeed, but the show is a bit of a mixed bag.

The humour is very broad. Larwood enters the room with toilet-roll stuck to both his shoes, makes crude comparisons (“it’s worse than the time I shat myself so hard that I forgot my own name”) and generally chews the scenery for an hour. Larwood is aware of how over-the-top his show is, and unafraid to share this joke with the audience; ‘You’re right,’ he explains mid-set, ‘those were back-to-back dick jokes’. Though energetic, Larwood’s show is not particularly original. It’s easy to generalise about this, but Larwood seems to think that he’s the first person to have come up with several rather predictable ideas. Using a projector to poke fun at Google’s predictive search has been done before and better. Ditto the generic ‘observational comedy without jokes’ routine. One genuinely surprising skit involving Larwood’s panel-show appearance proves a highlight, but other segments (like ‘Sir’ Stephen Seagal’s acting lessons) frequently come across as lazy. If you’re a fan of Larwood then Typecast is definitely worth seeing, but it’s unlikely to win him any new admirers.

Reviews by Tristram Fane Saunders

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The Blurb

Marek Larwood, (We are Klang, Fast and Loose BBC2), believer and understander of mankind, performs a show where he battles the stigma of being typecast. Watching this show simultaneously cures all sexually transmitted diseases and also racism.