Tom Ward’s inexorably British comedy came with the promise of being more “honest” this year which you should try to keep out of your mind as he recalls joke after joke about masturbation or during his tirade about skipping the post-coitus shower.
It wasn’t just the lack of sanitation that made the show cringe. A variety of uncomfortable jokes peppered with uncomfortable silences heightened the humor. Highlights include a comparison of the most sexy grunts from music history and a comprehensive list of Tom’s opinions to be shared at parties.
The focus on Tom’s awkward social interactions drove the strongest parts of the show. Often, it wasn’t just description but demonstration. When interacting with the audience Tom’s best asset is his facial expressions, leaving the audience in an uproar even in response to the most mundane answers. Watch out for Tom’s drag impression of his own mother, using those same cringe skills to mock himself in the third person and force an audience member to partake in the social discomfort.
While at times the shift between bits seemed choppy, Tom’s strong personality tied the show together, making for a fun if not niche experience. If you’re too young or foreign to know about the beef between Oasis and Blur, this may not be the show for you. Conversely, if you have ever used the word “bosh” in casual conversation, Tom Ward is a must-see.
Words: Emily Hall
Picture: Steve Ullathorne
Tom Ward: Love Machine, Just the Tonic at the Tron, Aug 4-17 (not 14), 3.40pm