Edinburgh Fringe 2014
Nick Hodder has an idea that he could make it as a stand up comedian. In order to make his dream come true he orders a show off the internet which, as we arrive is yet to make an appearance itself. Once it does we have an hour or so as he performs as prompted.
Nick Hodder comes from behind the curtain as an uncertain comic. He explains that he is waiting for the show he ordered off the internet to arrive and attempts some interactive comedy in the meantime. It doesn’t work out so well and when the box finally does arrive we are treated to the comedy gold of the rubber chicken to some non PC style humour that our awkward comic does not want to deliver. It all ends as the CD does with pauses and applause.
Centrally this is a good idea. Some of the writing is good and many of the situations funny but the central conceit goes on too long. I could have had 15 minutes shaved off this and been happier.
It is also highly dependant upon the audience. On this occasion there are a few who are really up for it whilst some just want to leave – and they do. Nick Hodder carries off his central character well but there are a few occasions where that awkwardness felt real.
The staging is perfect and the fact that he has added in some work on how he should feel higher than his audience when he is lower is good. The props that arrive and the running gag with the ukulele also works.
It is clear that this is material with which Hodder is comfortable. With an audience well up for it I am sure this would not only swing by but take on its own velocity. The issue for me was that we were with a crowd that had, as yet, to get into the spirit of things and a few were clearly texting during the show – Hodder zoomed in on this which makes me think there’s more to him than this show.
The show itself may not have legs beyond this run but I think that would not give sufficient credit to what Hodder is attempting to do here. As he is being an anti comic comedian and highlighting some of the practice that we all laughed at in the past whilst trying to gather laughs for himself badly you can see the point. The material begins to ask questions rather than just try and elicit laughs and that is perhaps the point of us suffering some silence. I did think that there needed to be more punchlines but it did not put me off seeking Hodder out in future for what may be son or daughter of insert comedy here.