It seems unfair to judge Patrick Morris on this gig: there are only seven of us in the audience, and we really don’t represent his natural demographic. The twenty-three year-old tries his best to keep his head up and make light of the situation, but there’s no disguising the truth of his opening gambit: “You all look like my parents’ friends.” I suspect that’s how we’re responding to him too: all he’s a lovely young lad; let’s laugh at this bit to show our support. It’s dispiriting, I’m sure, but it’s all we’ve got to offer him.
He has an engaging – if familiar – comic stage persona: a not-very-cool guy trying to fit in. He’s a very nervous person, he tells us, scared of everything – especially bees. His daily routine is too safe to yield much comedy material, so, in order to prepare himself for his first full-length solo show, he has spent seven months trying out new things that frighten him. He’s committed a crime, taken drugs and dabbled with the supernatural – and none of it has worked out well.
Some routines are very successful (the dominatrix sequence is a highlight) while others seem to peter out (the drugs tale doesn’t tell us much) but, to be honest, it’s clear the whole set would fly better if there were more of us and we were more his age. Put a young crowd in front of this comic, and I’m pretty certain he would know exactly how to raise his game. Perhaps if we’d attended on a different night, we would have seen what he can really do.