Gordon Southern’s a Brief History of History


I love a show with a strong theme, as it feels like a one-fringe-only experience, rather than being their catch-it-anywhere club set. On this, Southern didn’t disappoint. I also enjoy learning new things, so this was definitely the show to come to.

Of course, the complete history of history is an impressive feat in its own right, but in the one hour, he also managed a passing nod to pre-history, as well as getting bang up to date with his own life.

Southern delivers all this mixed up comedy and fact in varied ways, from the pretend TV historian stance, to a sketch with an audience member, to quick-fire raps, with varied sound effects and sound-bites to play with at the touch of a button.

Sometimes when a performer appears to really enjoy themselves it can be wearing. Not in this case; if anything, it helped set the upbeat mood, brought everyone on board responding, and got across Southern’s genuine passion for his topic. Much as schools need teachers like this, comedy would be worse off without him.

Reviewed by Gill Smith

Gordon Southern: The Unofficial Annual 2009

* * * *
4 stars

I first saw Gordon Southern three years ago when he seemed to be in everything, plays, showcases and his own show and although I hadn’t witnessed him before enjoyed his performance in all. The following year he was back and again an excellent show was forthcoming.

He was not performing last year so with him back on the menu this time, I made a point of catching his latest offering.

Southern has always had a show with gimmicks and plenty of props. This year he has a magic box that plays, jingles I suppose you may call them and a lot of his sections are announced by a sting or sound bites, sometimes these appear in the sections too.

Southern is widely traveled and tells stories on visits to America, Dubai, Singapore and of course his wife’s home land Australia, all interspersed with anecdotes and gags and the occasional sound effect.

Gordon has a pleasing delivery, good material and is genuinely funny, so why don’t you check him out. As part of the five pound Fringe it won’t break the bank either.