Leo Kearse takes the audience through the things that make it hard to be a man in the modern world.
There is a possibility that the comic doesn’t trust his material but it is definitely strong enough throughout to maintain the audience’s interest.
Despite his admission that he’s only in stand-up for the money, Kearse is a massively endearing stage presence – as well as being massively tall. He takes the stage following a few minutes of warm-up by MC Darius Davies. Kearse’s set, has a straightforward feed-line/punch-line rhythm to it. The material covered is fairly well-trodden (differences between Scots and English, men’s feelings of inadequacy, office HR departments, etc.) but it is a fresh and light-hearted take.
Kearse is very quick-witted – when the inevitable sound of the Tattoo fire-works interrupted the set, one heckler shouted a reference to the conflict in Gaza and the IDF. Kearse responded that he never supports the actions of any energy companies (a reference to EDF Energy) which quickly dispelled the tension threatened by the heckle.
About half-way through his set, however, Kearse seemed to get very nervous. There wasn’t any explanation for this (one joke fell flat but not so badly to disrupt the things). The material is of the same quality in the second half; however, there was a slight but definite sense that Kearse might lose his momentum and the room. Thankfully, owing to the relationship the audience and comic had established since the beginning, this didn’t happen. There is a possibility that the comic doesn’t trust his material but it is definitely strong enough throughout to maintain the audience’s interest.
Kearse closes with a series of “Dad-jokes”, the true essence of male humour. This is an accomplished set and definitely worth a look - especially as it is part of the Free Fringe.