Fringe debutant Patrick Turpin takes his audience on a trip down memory lane, as he bids for their approval. The enigmatic, adorably nicknamed ‘Turps’ has a well crafted comic awkwardness, which is all but apparent in the opening of his set when he uses a PowerPoint presentation to give a detailed analysis of his oddly formed nipples. Turps’ use of props and Photoshop contributes to his surreal appeal. His family photo album presentation is the backbone of his set and is reminiscent of Dave Gorman, mixed with elements of Noel Fielding.
Turps moves on to give a biographical account of his parents’ lives. With leather pants and a strange nipple condition himself, you get the feeling that father Turpin could have had a show devoted solely to his life story. Turpin paints a fascinating picture of his dad, creating several uproarious laughs in the process. However as this section of the set highlights, many of Turpin’s one-liners and comments are merely observational. Although witty, these are simple and in many instances don’t really lead anywhere.
The highlight of Turps’ show is without a doubt his reciting and playful analysis of a letter written by a family friend about his birth. The cringe-inducing description of young Turps’ ‘perfectly defined scrotum’, like many points in the set is made all the more awkward by Turpin’s clear gift for comic timing.
Fresh from a slot at Latitude Festival, Patrick Turpin shows plenty of promise as a young comic entering the circuit. He has done himself justice and gives an enjoyable performance that allows his audience to empathise with his unique upbringing and unconventional parents. His observational comedy style is straightforward and has the potential to appeal on multiple levels, but is just not there yet. Turps is very likeable and this quality, twinned with his inherent awkwardness, creates a very entertaining show.