Ah, the fragility of masculinity. A topic dreadfully handled, often catastrophically in fact. It’s too easy to be insulting, even easier to fail humour completely and simply appear misogynistic. Manfül, however, is a delightful skit about Dicky Rosenthal and a wonder programme which will turn all the dweeb bags out there into ripped men with some serious girth and self-esteem. That’s what it means to be a man…right?
Rather than the intention of Dicky’s conference, we see a different transformation; his muscles torn and etched away, the cocky charisma outwitted by the audience’s schadenfreude. Manfül instead subverts the stereotype of the masculine. Yes, it does ask a few questions of what it is to be a ‘man’ in 2017, but not to the level of pander. Just enough to be side-splitting, just enough not to turn away the crowd.
Glanc, or rather “Dicky” has perfected the art of balancing silence. Just enough to allow for caged laughter to burst. Those jokes you shouldn’t laugh at? Glanc knows to wait for just that second longer to douse the pathos and let the merriment out. Hypnotically analysing the audience, to see who will go along with the joke and refuses to let up if he finds gold.
Anyone who works Fiddler on the Roof into a Fringe act gets bonus points, but could the show do with a few minutes of trimming? Arguably. What really stirs a surprise though was Glanc’s final note to the audience: this is his first Fringe. Which is just cruel to any other first timers, because if anything, he’s clearly showing off.
Words: Dominic Corr
Josh Glanc: Manfül, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Aug 7-28 (not 14), 9.30pm