No comedy festival lineup is complete without a healthy whack of wise crackin’ Pommy humour, and Doc Brown presents a familiar but endearing shtick: the smooth fast talking “av a laf” middle class Brit.
His show Unfamous has a catch: it is in part a hip-hop performance and has been marketed as such. At this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, there is both a “Doc Brown” and a “Doctor Brown” on the program, ensuring a bonus splash of pre-show amusement/confusion at the box office.
At the end of some of Brown’s gag segments — which play it broad, spanning everything from travel, politics, pop culture to gently chiding latecomers — the lights change, phat beats pump from the speakers and the Doc bursts into rhymin’ and rappin.’
The musical interludes lend his act a spontaneous and unpredictable feel, though it’s clear Brown knows his songs backwards and forwards. Impromptu free styling, with an audience member suggesting a topic or two, would have taken his act to the next level — no doubt at the expense of crisp well-worked material.
David Attenborough fans will appreciate the Attenborough love-in session, and a sketch involving a series of “street” signs Brown translated into everyday vernacular demonstrates his widely accessible style.
There are no belly-ups, no moments of knee slappin’ hilarity, and the pace wanes a little towards the end — but Unfamous is an amusing hour of unspectacular entertainment.
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