February 24, 2013

Fringe: Alexander Sparrow - Narcissistic Diva

Everyone has to start somewhere and Alexander Sparrow has started in his home town. It is refreshing to watch a comedian who lacks the cynicism that pervades the stage today; this may be due to his youth and his lack of life experience. But, after 45 minutes of watching him parade, strut and gyrate, I came away thinking he might be someone to watch out for.

Sitting down and writing this I had to think hard about why I want to watch him again. Some of his jokes were a little lame, ‘I haven’t eaten since I last ate’ and his obvious nervousness was distracting, but he charmed me! I think he also charmed the rest of his audience. He didn’t have to swear to get a laugh and he picked on those we love to pick on – not the Aussies, but the toothless folks of Upper Hutt. What he said wasn’t unique but his style made it fun. He interacted with ‘Sam’ in the front row within the first two minutes and made us feel part of his show. This is always a great technique for a stand up comedian and got the rest of the front row squirming in case he turned on them next. Alexander did go on to include more audience members but it would have been great to see him ‘pick on’ more than those who could touch him from their seats. The Fringe Bar is a small place and he would have been able to hear those in the back row, let alone just three rows back.

The two highlights for me were his adlibbing and the finale. As mentioned earlier, his nervousness was obvious but I think with more exposure to the stage, he should relax into his style. It was entertaining to see him interact with the odd comments audience members called out. He had quick answers and really seemed to enjoy himself. I’m hoping this is something he will build on, as it is a difficult skill to fake but he seems to have it. As for the finale, you have to see it to believe it. He had already gyrated all over the microphone stand showing us how to really let a woman know what you want with body language only. I hope too many guys don’t take his advice! Then he went on to demonstrate to us what women wear, or don’t wear, to clubs. The audience saw a lot more of Alexander’s body than we thought we had paid for. But the best was yet to come. Once more the poor microphone stand was attacked as Alexander broke out his Beyonce moves and had us all in fits. A grand way for a self confessed diva to leave his audience.

Needless to say, Alexander is a brave young man. The audience on Friday night sat back and weren’t overly vocal in their appreciation of the diva’s antics. This was a pity and his inexperience made him dry mouthed and some audience support would have gone a long way. If you go to see him this season or in the future, join in with his antics, it makes the show so much more fun and brings Alexander to life.

I will be keeping an eye out for Alexander Sparrow. It looks as if he has written something else featured in this year’s fringe festival – perhaps that will be my next night out.

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