DANIEL SIMONSEN – WORKING ON IT
THE RING O’BELLS
“Working On It” clearly isn’t the title of this show, but a description of where it is in development. This is only a preview, after all, and as Simonsen himself says later on, “it’s supposed to suck.” He ambles diffidently onstage, and begins, and continues, hesitantly – the main schtick being “I’m Norwegian, nervous and vulnerable. Be nice to me”, and by and large the audience warm to this. In between the pauses and ums and aahs, there are some nicely wry observations on being Norwegian in Britain; on the relative merits of the benefits system there and here; and on his parentage and hunt for his philandering Chilean dad. He’s good on his teenage angst about his body; and there’s a particularly hilarious riff at one point on having a masturbatory fantasy – which is not in any way as creepy as that sounds. As the evening wears on, things become increasingly rambling and shapeless, though he never loses the attention of the audience, who clearly would like to cuddle him. Doubtless this all needs considerable tightening up, but by the time the show’s called “Finished Working On It” he should be able to look forward to good luck in Edinburgh.
John Christopher Wood