As show titles go, A Show With A Man In It is a wholly accurate description of what ensued in this 90 minutes. Suggested by Alun Cochrane‘s son, the stand-up adopted it for his run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe and, in its pleasing simplicity, seems to comfortably reflect the un-showy nature of Cochrane’s output.
Now a regular at the Fringe, on Radio 4 and touring the UK’s arts centres, Cochrane cuts a figure of understatement, from that title to his outfit to the self-deprecating way he describes his show and its alleged lack of jokes, though that claim turned out to be far from the truth.
Reveling in what could best be described as low-octane comedy, Cochrane has carved a niche for himself as an observational stand-up with a twist, where he turns the mundanity of his middle-class life, and his commentary on it, into a wealth of comic material with no shortage of strong punchlines. One clever line about his wife even made it into the celebrated list of the best jokes from last year’s Fringe, and despite the dour denials there’s clearly a very sharp wit and intelligence which have been fed into this hour and a half.
If at times it came across as rather shambolic – with Cochrane frequently interjecting to interrupt his own routines, consciously de-railing the show itself, that was all somehow part of the charm, and he was able to wring considerable humour from those digressions. The end result was a show which packed warmth and low-key charm in abundance.