Familiar to many as “Holly” from the BBC sitcom Red Dwarf, Norman Lovett will be coming to St Hilda’s Jacqueline du Pré Building on 19th September by way of the Fringe. Ten-plus years of significant commercial success at the Edinburgh Festival have solidified his status as a successful comic whose stand-up trademark has always been witty observational comedy; by the standards of both precedent and the box office, Norman Lovett is funny.
The basis of his current show is a series of slides which provide Lovett with opportunities to make the dry comments which are his specialty. The concept has potential in theory; however, the execution quickly runs into difficulties. Lovett, instead of using the format as a springboard, constrains himself to brief comments which aren’t funny about photos which also aren’t funny. On the all-too-rare occasions where he does start to entertain, he cuts himself short and pushes onto the next slide.
Lovett also makes a couple of comments about the disabled. If you are going to do this, they have got be both very well judged and very funny. His were neither. It was uncomfortable listening. One man did leave and I wasn’t far off doing the same.
In a younger man, you might say that that the show at least had potential. For Lovett, it merely showed glimpses of what once was. I desperately wanted to like this show; instead, I ended up wishing I hadn’t gone.