Spencer Brown

Spencer Brown covers the familiar territory of ‘kids do and say the funniest things’ in his offering at the Free Sisters, and this provides unspectacular, if gently amusing viewing. Based around concepts of innocence, Brown’s main focus revolves around the notions of maintaining it as long as possible, as it’s better, according to him, to live in a world of wondrous oblivion and reckless abandon than it is to face the visceral, harsh realities of life. This point is intelligently put across, with an examination into the biblical story of the fall of man in relation to the apple approached with good humour and wit.

Brown is a likable character onstage, with a pleasant, sentimental persona that’s magnetic enough to keep us listening

Nonetheless, this still seems to have a lot of effort placed on conventional tales of fatherhood and growing up, which is hardly the most creative approach to a set, especially when considering the visible intelligence of Brown, seen in his command of language, history and cultural references. Whilst he tries to bolster the act with a few musical interludes, these merely confirm his acceptance of conforming to safe comedic standards, in their simplicity and uniformity.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the show is poor, because the majority of it is somewhat amusing- yet it lacks a certain energy that only comes about from tackling more inventive material. Brown is a likable character onstage, with a pleasant, sentimental persona that’s magnetic enough to keep us listening, but you couldn’t help but feel that he could have said something more profound amongst his reflections of corrupted naivety. 

Reviews by Robert McGowan Stuart

Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tommy Rowson: Down and Out in Powys and London

★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Marlon Davis: Once Upon A Grime

★★
Laughing Horse @ New Empire Bingo

The New Wave

★★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

The Horne Section: Milk the Tenderness

★★
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

Spencer Brown

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A free stand-up show from the ‘underground comedy genius’ (BBC Radio 2). He’s presented The Sexy Ads Show (Channel 5), Lip Service (ITV2 with Holly Willoughby) and he’s also done stuff that he’s proud of. He’s acted in Nathan Barley, directed a short film that’s won so many awards it’s eligible for the 2015 Oscars, starred in an upcoming movie and performed stand-up at the top clubs worldwide for over a decade. All you have to do is turn up a bit early. ‘So original and exciting’ (Daily Telegraph). www.spencerbrown.net