Even the genuinely astounding crudity of the masturbation jokes have the feel of a comfortable comic trope
This is not a family show. Bartlett whirls through his experiences with naked children and his fledgling attempts at masturbation without so much as a warning. The audience is, reluctantly at times, swept along with him. He is a born performer, utterly filling the stage with his physicality; he stands, pint in hand, managing to tower over an audience on the same level as him. Importantly, however, this is not only a crude show. Much of the driving narrative of the set is provided by a witty and self-aware take on the perils of turning 30 and, where Bartlett does turn to the utterly cringe-inducing, it is always intelligently done and it is always funny. In his interactions with an occasionally vocal audience, too, Bartlett deploys an abundance of both wit and confidence to maintain the pace of his set.
However, Bartlett’s choice of material does leave something to be desired. He rarely strays from safe comic ground. Friends having children, putting on weight and the English all get a predictable look in (Bartlett is from Northern Ireland). Even the genuinely astounding crudity of the masturbation jokes have the feel of a comfortable comic trope. For an obviously talented comedian, more ambitious material is easily within reach should he desire it.
It is beyond doubt, though, that the material that Bartlett does decide to include is both well-delivered and well thought through. To draw a fresh perspective and consistent laughs from such material is testament to Bartlett’s talent as both a writer and a performer.
This is an accomplished performance from a comedian who seems as though he has the potential for more. Bartlett is sometimes witty and sometimes crude. He is always fun.