Review: Alun Cochrane – Live Theatre, Newcastle.
Alun Cochrane: Jokes. Life. And Jokes About Life documents one man’s quest to find the ultimate response to age-old heckle “Tell us a joke!”As any live comedy fan will know, straight one liner stand-ups are hard to find in today’s comedy clubs; however, there still seem to be a number of (usually drunken) customers unable to comprehend the art of comedic storytelling. Throughout this show, Cochrane argues that jokes aren’t actually all that funny – after all, “a joke is just a sentence with a surprise at the end”.
Instead, he prefers to pinpoint the moments of genuine glee that can be found in everyday life, and encourages the audience to look for similar gems themselves.
As the title suggests, Cochrane has prepared a boxful of one-liners and aims to put his theory to the test. In an hour-long journey through anecdotes, stories, observations, and – yes – ‘traditional’ jokes, Alun Cochrane demonstrates how he gained his critical acclaim, building relationship, respect & rapport with his audience, and makes a compelling case for the comedy inherent in everyday life.
As with all previews, the show is still a little rough around the edges and the occasional punchline falls flat, but the structure is solid and if you get a chance to see the show in Edinburgh you’re guaranteed an hour of high quality entertainment.
Fans of the one-liner will be more than happy with the quick succession of jokes central to the show, but if – like me – you look for a little more substance in your comedy, it’s the observations of everyday life and the way Cochrane talks about his family and experiences that will give you a lasting sense of genuine joy.