A good many comedy shows at the Fringe are high energy, loud and in your face. So an evening with the softly spoken, laid back Lucont makes for a refreshing change. So too does his apparent lack of attempt to curry favour with his audience or get us to like him; rather he treats us with an utter contempt and disdain that is almost masochistically enjoyable and very funny. Of course that’s because there’s a kind of reverse psychology going on here – by being this way he does win us over.
Marcel Lucont is a delightfully sarcastic French character and so the recent vote for Brexit offers him a comedic (and only comedic) gift. Taken from “his” perspective, there is ample material from which to draw and this was arguably the most on point section of the show. Political satire may not be his usual schtick, but in this context it worked beautifully.
This year, Marcel brings us his Whine List; having gathered various life gripes from his audience ahead of the show, he interacts with us to discuss, satirise and dissect these comments. Quick with the ad libs and jibes it certainly suits him as a premise for a show and offers him plenty of opportunity for his one line put downs, along with some entertaining moments of audience participation, which will of course ensure the show is fresh every night.
Those who’ve never seen Marcel Lucont before will no doubt find this hilarious and refreshing, but his more avid fans may find Whine List weaker than his previous offerings. His mannerisms, voice and expressions are as perfectly honed and brilliant as ever, but a few old jokes make an appearance, a reading from his “autobiography” falls a little flat and the delivery of a song during the piece very faintly lacks confidence (probably because he’s not a great singer), feeling slightly at odds with his usual nonchalance. He plays us a witty and very well made video toward the end, which garners lots of laughs, but has a disadvantage for anyone beyond the front row, who struggle to see the lower half of the screen in the one-level seating venue. Nevertheless, a ticket to Marcel Lucont is always money well spent and this show has, arguably one of the best closing lines of the Fringe.