Kevin Tomlinson : Truth or Dare?

***
3 stars

Improvised comedy is tricksy.  Do it right and the audience will be granted a uniquely entertaining experience.  Do it wrong and everyone’s fairly uncomfortable for an hour.  In the case of Kevin Tomlinson’s late-night show ‘Truth or Dare’ it was a strange little mix of both. 

Before entering the venue the audience are asked to write down a line from a film or a song and our contributions will be used within the show.  As the guy standing next to me pointed out, “we’re the ones writing the show for him – we’d better be good”.    And whilst the line ‘badger hunting in Glasgow’ might raise a laugh of recognition from the people who drunkenly scrawled it down in the queue, it needs a deft hand to turn it into comedy gold for the rest of us.  Unfortunately this is where Tomlinson proved a little weak as he just didn’t seem to be able to spin the lines out in a particularly humourous way.  Granted the sketches took unusual turns, but that didn’t always make them funny.   

What proved more successful were the improvisations which involved members of the audience.  Tomlinson seemed to be a genuinely lovely guy and managed to put his volunteers at ease.  This then allowed the laughter to flow.   A young girl’s date with ‘Philippe’ took an unusual turn when he ended up with her mother, and the ‘Yes/No’ game that involves a re-enactment of a couple’s first date has great potential.

Although this is the type of show which should work well with a late-night audience and their alcohol- influenced lack of inhibitions, I’m not confident that it’s the right type of showcase for Tomlinson.   His manner is a little too gentle and his wit a little too soft for what I was seeking in an 11pm slot.  However, he does have another show playing which is in an earlier time-slot.  It may be that this proves a more successful showcase for his talents.

Di

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