Mick Ferry's flyer has quotes from John Bishop and Jason Manford declaring his genius so from the offset is pretty predictable what one is going to receive in this amusing but forgettable Fringe show.
He s a likeable cynic with a refreshingly old-fashioned opinion on what a comedian should provide.
Ferry is clearly from the same brood of Northern observational comedians as Bishop and Manford (a fact I'm reluctant to reveal as he claims reviewers always mention his northern roots within the first few lines of a review, but he is so absolutely cut from that comedic cloth it's difficult not to mention). He s a likeable cynic with a refreshingly old-fashioned opinion on what a comedian should provide. “There's no message in this show”, he declares, “there's no moral lesson, there's just some jokes. And if you need a comedian to tell you how to think and treat other people then you should take a fucking long hard look at yourself. Dickhead”.
Ferry's routine is almost solely based around his pessimism; he is an auteur of anger. His comments and conclusions on everything from being taught in a Catholic school to people who claim their partner is their best friend are amusing and, worryingly, quite accurate. However, on second thought, outside the context of his show, his gags are little more than smile-raising rants from a overly embittered character. Ferry is the kind of man you dream of perpetually propping up the bar of your local boozer - a clearly intelligent man who has an acerbic retort for all of life's little problems. An hour of it as a comedy show, though, and it's clear there isn't quite enough to his material to make it noteworthy.
It is genuinely pleasing to see an act on the Fringe who isn't from the clan of bouncy, optimistic, let's-all-be-good-to-one-another moral message comedians and it's cathartic to be whisked away by Ferry's attitude (and it is equally difficult to rid yourself of it for a good hour after his show). But after the temporary therapeutic effect of allowing yourself to be as miserable as he is subsides, his show reveals itself to be lacking in depth or guts.