Tom Wrigglesworth: Utterly at Odds with the Universe

Tom Wrigglesworth is anything but ordinary. For a start, he is extremely tall, gangly limbed and poodle-haired with an impressive moustache to boot. And his surname is Wrigglesworth. Wrigglesworth. A name surely built for comedy. Certainly, his entertaining nature did not stop at his physique and comic family name, but continued on through his intelligently crafted storytelling.

Both heart-warming and side-splitting all in one show, Wrigglesworth centres his piece around the impact his DIY-loving granddad had on his life. From attempting to teach Tom to drive to sparking an obsession with personal bests, his words of wisdom are cleverly relayed by Wrigglesworth before building to a more sombre finale in which we hear the last few pieces of advice he gave before he passed away. This framework to the show is incredibly enjoyable, but it seems at points that Wrigglesworth strays from the main idea, foraying into tales about fiascos in Dubai and snobby dinner parties that are indeed interesting but feel slightly out of place. What carries it forward, though, is the mixture of extremely witty one-liners and a clear strength for humourous detailing that had the audience almost constantly chuckling.

The ending of the show, however, seemed to jar with the rest of the performance. Whilst emotionally touching, its contrived nature undermined the truly moving finish he was clearly hoping for. This was a real shame as he evidently had the potential to do so much more as the crowd’s attention was kept throughout, building up expectations that made the finale all the more disappointing. Wrigglesworth himself is an extremely likeable wordsmith that everybody is clearly rooting for, but this time his sweet and charming regalement was just not cohesive enough to confirm his excellence. Next time, though, I’m sure.

Performances

The Blurb

Sony Award-winner, Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee and star of Radio 4 returns with his exquisite show. ‘The gods of comedy chose Tom Wrigglesworth for greatness’ ***** (Scotsman). ‘ Magical Storytelling’ ***** (Timeout).