Scott Bennett’s patter feels designed for a larger audience. He opens with a set of ‘Anyone from X?’ questions that, understandably, don’t work well with a small crowd who are not from X, nor Y, nor Z. He has a larger audience than the famed Fringe average of six, but even so, his opening could be better designed for a festival where numbers are notoriously hard to come by.
This is like the food that forms so much of the basis of Bennett’s comedy; simple, familiar but occasionally overdone.
His style involves shorter set piece jokes about his father, the Roy of the title, interspersed with audience interaction, so the scattergun approach recurs, always with the same problem. Much of the show is about Yorkshiremen and sometimes the riffing on stereotype gets a little too involved for those from beyond the rolling dales. For the most part, however, a little knowledge goes a long way. Most of his jokes aim for a broad laugh but instead catch one part of the audience; he makes good cracks about this, but his riffs on individual audience members rarely go beyond the bog standard.
Bennett is affable, and his stories about his family are clearly laced with affection. There’s little holding them together, and the show doesn’t build to a climax as much as come to an end, but it’s a comfortable enough hour. Roy is wonderfully realised, a bargain hunter for whom the biggest game is a pound coin, but the rest of Bennett’s family rather pale in comparison
About a Roy is a show about fathers, both Bennett’s own, and Bennett becoming one. Fathers and sons might be a familiar theme of late in stand up, but Bennett does it differently in one distinct way; his treatment is shallow. Expect no emotional reveal, no twist in the tail – this is not Russell Kane and Roy is definitely still alive and well.
There’s nothing shocking or particularly new in Bennett’s set. Rather, this is like the food that forms so much of the basis of Bennett’s comedy; simple, familiar but occasionally overdone.