Ali Brice returns to the festival for the fourth time which in his own words “proves that he is quite good”. It is hard to disagree with this when he enters the room in a monk costume and immediately has everyone laughing with exaggerated fist pump dancing and some light audience grilling in a shrill Irish accent. Brice adeptly works the crowd, is quick-witted and just naturally funny.
There are some great lines throughout the show and Brice describes events and characters in vivid detail. His description of the bus driver he met in America is particularly funny and the way he laughs as he tells stories show that he is comfortable and having fun on stage. He talks about family and his decision not to have children. Then the show suddenly turns dark as he casually mentions that he has had suicidal thoughts from the age of ten.
Brice gets distracted, a lot, but this isn’t always his fault. When one person in the crowd enjoys the attention of a heckle a bit too much, it can derail the show and end up being annoying. This happened. Brice dealt with this well for about fifteen minutes but by the end of the show it had become tedious. The constant interruptions left the narrative feeling rushed and segments disjointed which contributed to an overall lack of flow.
One further gripe is that the mic popped constantly. As Brice delivered each letter “p” or “b” the echo carried across the room unpleasantly. Yet, this can be fixed and hopefully any future hecklers will allow Brice enough time to perform the complete and unrushed show. Apart from the sad bit you will find yourself holding your belly with laughter throughout.