As far as setting yourself apart from the swarm of other white blokes – in their thirties doing stuff about domesticity and reaching their own personal mid-life crisis – billing yourself as an unapologetic Tory would appear to be quite a genius move. It could also back-fire quite horribly making you think that anyone who tries it is either very foolish or very brave. Geoff Norcott is certainly no fool but I wouldn’t list brave as one of his particular selling points.
Waiting for the big confession regarding Geoff’s political affiliations was a bit like waiting for the much-talked-about controversial scene in a film – like the horse’s head in The Godfather or when Halle Berry got them out in Swordfish. It’s difficult to concentrate on what’s going on before because all you can think of is the money shot. And of course It’s even more palpable in a live situation – we know that he knows that we’re waiting…
As I’ve said Geoff’s no fool so he doesn’t come on stage and launch straight into a Conservative party political broadcast but then he’s not that kind of Tory. When the big ‘fess-up on how he votes does come it’s more along the lines of there being no other viable option and as a working-class guy sharing certain Tory values. He does venture into Russell Brand territory with ‘politicians – they’re all the same’ but unlike Mr Brand, Geoff presents himself as a practical and pragmatic guy – however unfashionable that may be.
The political stuff – when it comes – is quite scant and is delivered quite timidly which is a shame. Also I don’t know if the voting-Tory confession/apology is necessary as the whole target of leftie lazy thinking and ideological knee-jerk responses is so huge Geoff could be getting endless hits without getting into personal disclosure. He does touch upon the above as well as dodgier areas like the NHS (game show euthanasia for the elderly) and the SNP (Scottish MPs entering the Commons in Braveheart type mode). Geoff does ask for a quick show of hands – there’s a scattering of older people and probably less Scottish people in. The older people laugh to prove they can take a joke whilst the Scottish stuff is moved along so quickly we don’t have much time to respond.
Overall the audience seemed fine with everything. They probably laughed more at the observational family-life / reaching-a certain-age type of material which served as the very thick slices of bread around the thinly sliced political meat. As for hecklers – there was one of sorts: an older woman in the front row who declared herself a Smiths fan about five minutes into the set which was bizarre but maybe an indication of the audience feeling they have to show where they’re coming from as much as Geoff does. As it is Geoff is very likeable with good comic timing and well written material but certainly when I saw him on a Sunday afternoon with a polite audience it was all quite.. nice. I imagine in the bear-pit of a late slot it would have been a very different show altogether and perhaps one I’d like to see.
Review for 16 August