Review: Pierre Novellie: You’re Expected to Care at Pleasance

“This show contains distressing themes” warns the show’s bio, and distressing themes it delivers by the bucket load. 

The show kicks open its doors with a drawn-out section on wet foods, proclaiming that everyone in Britain drowns their food with sauces. It’s an accessible opening which is fairly easy to relate to and find mildly amusing, but things take a rapid downward trajectory from there and the “distressing themes” start getting thrown into the processor and poured over the audience.

Novellie appears to arrive at a fork in the road with most of his audience still in tow, then makes a rash decision to go it alone down a grim, much less accessible route which loses far more than it gains. Shamima Begum, climate change, pornography and paedophilia all get the treatment with some heavily outspoken views that don’t appear to have a final destination. This quickly shatters the earlier illusion that the show might have any structure or purpose.

There’s plenty of comedians out there that tackle similar topics with dry satire (see Frankie Boyle and Daniel Sloss) but you can tell it’s all in jest. This is likely to be the case with Novellie too, however, there are two key components missing, it’s neither an enjoyable or memorable experience and unless you know what you’re letting yourself in for, this one’s best forgotten about.

Pierre Novellie: You’re Expected to Care at Pleasance Beside, until 25 Aug,  7:15pm.

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