Review: Tom Stade: I Swear To… at Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Want to measure the true talent of a performer? Give them a venue that’s only a third filled and watch as they still produce roars of laughter.

It’s week two of the Fringe. It’s a Wednesday, and the weather has started to drizzle. Looking around, we all know this venue can hold more. The crowd grow agitated as no one else seems to be arriving. From the moment he walks onto the stage, however, Tom Stade owns this room. Within three minutes, every twitch, squirm or worry has been put to rest. This is going to be a successful night – empty seats be damned.

On topic for discussion, tonight is, well, anything really. Stade’s set pieces fall into the typical categories of parenting, travelling and the cross-generational divide. They’re insightful, engaging and hilarious. However, the real enjoyment this evening comes from Stade’s interaction with the audience. Punters are up for it as they get incorporated into the gags, knocked around slightly but encouraged. Stade himself even comments on how unique and entertaining the night is becoming.

Comedy is a bugger to perform. There’re no guarantees when the state of the audience on any given night is such a direct link to the success of a show. Luckily, Tom Stade knows precisely how to manipulate a room, always sure of just what button to push to each night is a success for all.

Tom Stade: I Swear To…, Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, 10-16 Aug (not 13), 9.15pm

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