Tom Bell Begins

Tom Bell has long been a hit with Fringe audiences with his delightful Free Fringe offerings, and as the frailer half of double-act Tommy and the Weeks. But this summer, be prepared for a gritty reboot of the Tom Bell franchise, as we uncover the formative events that turned him into the Comic Crusader he is today. Bell's beaten off the competition to land the leading role of himself and, with an able supporting cast including Jennifer Aniston and Michael Caine, we are taken on a journey from his humble origins in Knebworth to his wilderness years temping in Wood Green, share in his struggle for artistic integrity and financial stability, and celebrate his ultimate triumph as the star of a Norwegian pizza advert.It's a neat show, cleverly structured and nicely played out with the help of multimedia. When the narrative threatens to flag, he peps it up with goofy interludes such as a game of Grandmother's Footsteps, or flashing examples of inane covers from Love It! magazine, like ‘AT LEAST CANCER MADE ME THIN!’The set is hugely enjoyable, despite being a little rough around the edges. Even taking into account Bell's shambolic stage persona and the fact that the show I saw was early in the run, it was all a bit of a mess. In another comic's hands, the freewheeling material might be in danger of running away from him, but somehow Tom Bell’s mischievous charm successfully won me over. This is not a slick or hard-hitting hour, but it is endearing and very entertaining.

The Blurb

A spoof Hollywood-style reboot from half of Tommy and the Weeks. ‘One of the full-on funniest hours I can remember spending’ ***** (Scotsman), ***** (ThreeWeeks), **** (Chortle.co.uk), **** (Fest). Stand-up, sketches, big explosions.