Steve is a little dull. So dull in fact that he decides to ask a stand-up comic, Alice, to teach him to be funny. He thinks it will help in his relationship with his girlfriend. Because the guy she works with is so funny he’s all she can talk about. Alice has own issues right now too; her boyfriend has just dumped her because they don’t have things in common. Oh, and because he has been cheating on her with a girl he met at a music festival. Of course, for Alice this does make great material for her stand-up show, because all good stand-up needs a little self-despair. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise where this is leading. But however signposted a few plot turns may be, the show is strong enough, funny enough, to step ably over them.
The structure of the play has a lovely uniqueness to it. Opening up with Alice doing her stand-up routine, you could easily be mistaken to think you’ve come to the wrong venue and walked into see a comic, not a play. There is even that one person in the audience who is laughing a little too much and you know he’s may be about to start heckling. It’s only when Steve steps forward to ask for her help that you can relax and know you are in the right place.
Alice agreed to teach Steve because she needs the money, but along the way we watch the two characters develop, opening each other’s eyes to the faults in their lives, in their relationships, and somehow give hope to each other.
The two strong cast in Elly Condron and Daniel Cech-Lucas have a stage chemistry between them, Condron all sassy, Cech-Lucas stiff and formal. It is this that makes Don’t Be Terrible so charming, leaving a smile on your face the whole way through. Even though we all know what is going to happen come the end, the journey is still such a pleasure. With so many genuine laugh-out loud moments, you really don’t care that you already know Steve’s girlfriend is clearly cheating on him with the funny guy from work, or that Alice’s man issues are because she just hasn’t found the right one yet, even though he might be standing right in front of the mic. Just don’t let him keep the mic too long, even come the end his joke telling hasn’t got much better.
Written and directed by: Ellen Waddell & Oliver Milbern
Produced by: Standard Man Productions
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/don-t-be-terrible
Booking until: 26 August 2019