There’s no denying that Chris Kent has perfected his poker face. For sixty minutes, the comedian maintains an appearance of complete impassivity, which – when coupled with his fairly unenthusiastic tone – makes for a dry and thoroughly entertaining set.
Kent’s wry gags are relatable and largely light-hearted: there’s talk of passport forms, having your gas company put you on hold, and the nature of so-called motivational videos on the internet. Though Kent does tend towards deadpan humour, his show is personal and, at times, quite touching. With a droll wit, he transforms some of his life experiences into chortle-worthy anecdotes and sparkling punchlines. His straight-faced branch of anecdotal comedy won’t appeal to anyone looking for energetic, rapid-fire storytelling, but those who appreciate Kent’s style will find a great deal of joy in his routine.
Kent is an unequivocally talented raconteur, in whose stories you’ll no doubt become invested. His tales aren’t the type to get people rolling on the floor with laughter – that’s not their purpose – but they’re engaging and subtle and you somehow find yourself desperate to know every detail. His anecdotes are offered up with a palpable honesty, giving the show a charmingly intimate feel.
The manner of delivery adopted by Kent isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and the fact that he flits between anecdotes from different time periods may be argued to interrupt the set’s flow. Nonetheless, Kent demonstrates charisma, insight, and an ability to turn even the mundane into something worthy of a laugh or several.
Words: Morgan Laing
Chris Kent: Moving On, Assembly George Square Studios, Aug 11-28 (not 15), 5.15pm