Luke Toulson – Too Many Last Cigarettes

***
3 stars

I have absolute confidence that Luke Toulson is a very funny man.  We’ve reviewed him in previous years and he has been consistently given 4 stars.  However the show I saw was suffering badly from ‘Thursday night syndrome’, the night when audiences who have been at shows all week are tiring whilst the weekend crowds are yet to appear.  In our hot little cellar the audience appeared lethargic and unresponsive, and it undoubtedly affected what, on any other night, has the potential to be a good show.  A couple of girls down the front did well to give something for Toulson to bounce off, but it was an uphill struggle from the start.

It’s to Toulson’s credit that he tried every trick in the book to get his crowd going.  The construct of his show was about how he isn’t the perfect father but he tries his best.  The story of his rush to get to his son’s nativity play after an eventful night out is woven through the show, but he had to break off from this on a number of occasions to try to gee up the crowd.  In some cases it worked, in some cases he didn’t.  He did reflect that perhaps by mentioning the problems he was having he was, in fact, compounding them, something which I’d probably agree with.  But to not acknowledge the underwhelming audience response would probably have proved to be just as uncomfortable.

I thought that there was plenty within Toulson’s set to enjoy, as did a couple of other audience members who waited outside the venue to tell him as much afterwards.  He seems to view himself as a fall back option for people who haven’t been able to see the act that they wanted but I genuinely believe that he is a performer that should be seen on his own merit.   

Di

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