Edinburgh Fringe 2013
In an hour of stand-up comedy spanning the globe, Glenn Wool takes us on tour with him to uncover tales of woe and hilarity in every corner. Gruff and likeable, Wool has us eating out of the palms of his travel-calloused hands from beginning to end.
ReviewGlenn Wool: This Road Has Tolls has, like all good stand-up comedy, only the loosest thread of a plot – Wool tells of his travels to distant lands in search of laughs and the mishaps that come along the way. Pretty standard stand-up comedy, there aren’t really any surprises here, but this guy, with his gravelly voice and vaguely Jack Black looks, is funny. A veteran of the business, Wool’s delivery is top notch, his dealing with hecklers perfect, and his timing spot on. They always say ‘leave ‘em laughing’ and Wool does just that. This is just good stand-up and, seeing it on the last night of the Fringe, a great way to end the festival.
A Canadian by birth, Wool has lived in the UK and in America, among other places, and his comedy work has taken him around the world. As a man with one foot on either side of the Atlantic, his comedy is effective and aware, and has appeal to people from all over. Plugged in to current events, Wool makes use of what’s happening now and his stories offer ways in for everyone in his audience. Flitting from one setup to the next dexterously, he touches on the Royal birth, the Savile controversy, and wayward Islamic hecklers, seemingly in the same breath. On topic, and sharp-witted, he’s not afraid to go to potentially uncomfortable and occasionally downright wrong places, but always manages to emerge from the darkness triumphant.
Spicing up his repertoire with clever puns and silliness about horses and ties, Wool doesn’t rely on being shocking to get his laughs. He offers well-crafted sight gags, and is more likely to tickle our funny bones gently than he is to use brute force. A professional, Wool doesn’t let his energy dip for a minute (even though it’s the last show of the festival) and brings us home laughing. As the night falls and venues close all around us, we ring in the end together, like racers crossing the finishing line at a marathon, flushed and breathless and full of smiles.