Peter Brush: Dreams with Advert Breaks

One of the first things Peter Brush admits to the audience is that he’s “not very exciting”. This shouldn’t be an issue for a comedian, so long as they can use it to their advantage. Physically unintimidating, and remarkably similar in appearance, once suitably attired, to Wally, of Where’s Wally fame, Brush cuts a Woody Allen-esque figure on the stage, all awkwardness and self-pity; unfortunately he has little of the octogenarian’s wit, rhythm or timing, and can’t seem to make his inherent attributes work for him

A few sparkles of genuine deadpan punchlines bubble through the mishmash of otherwise isolated and under-cooked gags

Dreams with Advert Breaks is set of fragmented and disjointed jokes that stumble on from one to the next, pointing out the obvious, little, banal absurdities of life and growing up. There is no real conceptual framework. Initially, Brush’s self-aware down-beat manner invites sympathy and patience. A little patter about the lo-fi venue and acceptance of inadequacy seems to get the set going, but it soon becomes obvious that any consistent theme or concept, aside from a nebulous repetition of the differences between dreams and memories, is entirely lacking from his jokes. A self-fulfilling fatalism is the only overarching angle to the jokes, and a bizarrely apathetic tone goes hand in hand with a genuine lack of charisma on the stage, rather than any sort of attempt at intentional ironic failure to launch.

Despite the odd chuckle and well-placed punchline, Dreams with Advert Breaks is more dead than dead-pan. Defending many of his jokes as “weird and subtle”, or simply niche, and apparently deriding the more crowd-pleasing bits as too bland or not to his own taste, Brush’s own assertion, apparently borrowed from a previous reviewer, that he’s not good with working the crowd, proves to be mostly true. Nor is he particularly laugh-out-loud funny, although a few sparkles of genuine deadpan punchlines bubble through the mishmash of otherwise isolated and under-cooked gags. Instead of using his physical and social frailties to construct a consistent persona, Brush seems satisfied to highlight the contrived inadequacy of his work, and to little positive effect. 

Reviews by Josh Adcock

Rialto Theatre

Poe's Last Night

★★★
Assembly George Square Theatre

Henry Paker: Guilty

★★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

Komischer

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 2

Fern Brady: Male Comedienne

★★★★
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

Michael and Roper: Three's a Crowd, Four's an Audience

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Peter Brush returns to the Fringe with his second show after various acclaim for his first one. This one is about nostalgia, terrorism, the Muppets and trying to save an octopus from western oppression. ‘Compellingly hilarious... an original and achingly funny voice’ ****1/2 (Chortle.co.uk). **** (ShortCom.co.uk). 'Unique observations which stand-ups crave' (Guardian). 'Yorkshire's answer To Woody Allen' (Harrogate Advertiser).

Most Popular See More

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets