mon 17/02/2020

Jimeoin, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh | reviews, news & interviews

Jimeoin, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

Jimeoin, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

A night of genial observational humour from the Northern Irish comic

Jimeoin: off on a rambleJames Penlidis

No theme, no message, no set, no title. Northern Irish comedian Jimeoin is a beguilingly old-fashioned kind of standup. “Just jokes,” he told us at the beginning of his new show, and he was true to his word. His gift lies in mining the quirks of everyday life for points of universal recognition, whether it’s the devilish business of refilling the ice tray, changing bin bags, bringing in the shopping, or why you’ll never see a busy man eating an ice cream.

This observational path took some nicely surreal turns, such as when he graphically demonstrated why cowboys struggle with revolving doors, or his imagining of Lord of the Rings remade with cars.

The rambling, discursive nature of his act is part of the appeal

He also eschewed the obvious. He has, we were told, a new baby, but unlike numerous other comics he refused to bang on about parenthood, other than to offer his top tips - “go floppy” – when creeping into the house drunk at night. The technical minutiae of arguments between partners was also forensically examined, often wordlessly. A highly visual comic, he displayed a lively repertoire of eyebrow-raising, nostril-flaring, tongue-lolling caricatures.

Jimeoin is an immensely likeable presence without seeming to care about the fact one way or the other, and his easy charm gave him some leeway when a couple of jokes grazed the knuckles of a few members of the audience. As with Billy Connolly and Eddie Izzard, the rambling, discursive nature of his act is part of the appeal, but he did quite obviously lose his way towards the end. He spent the final 20 minutes engaging in what is technically known as Fannying About, trying out jokes and ideas from his work book and doodling around on the guitar.

None of it was a particular chore to watch - and his slapdown of incomprehensibly hip "rawk" lyrics was a joy - but it did illustrate the problem with booking a single standup into a theatre or hall: the need for 90 minutes of stage time, padded out further with an interval, so often leads to the momentum draining away in the latter stages rather than rising to a head. So it proved here. Jimeoin had a terrific 60 minutes, then rapidly ran out of gas. But if I have to spend a contractually-specified extra half-hour in the presence of a comedian genially playing for time, I can think of far worse company to keep.

A highly visual comic, he has a lively repertoire of eyebrow-raising, nostril-flaring, tongue-lolling caricatures

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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