Aged 27 and now performing a solo show, Ivo Graham is back at The Glee Club making jokes about the banality of life and the sadness that comes with holes in our socks. A perfect mix of awkwardness, confidence and self-deprecation, Ivo took to the stage bringing with him a keen interest in the brave souls in the front row, a sometimes too deep insight into his personal life and even a powerpoint. A night that surpassed expectations.
Half an hour before the show started, the room was already buzzing and I didn’t know what to expect from a guy whose Eton past seems to follow him around along with his victory of being the youngest person to win the ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ award at the Edinburgh Fringe.
“Ivo ran onto the stage and made the most of his natural awkwardness”
Purposefully avoiding the tables pressed up against the stage was a decision I later appreciated as the latecomers who had no other choice were thrown into the deep end of audience engagement. Having no compère or warm acts before him, Ivo ran onto the stage and made the most of his natural awkwardness, spending a fairly long time talking to those in the front rows and delivering some of the most casual yet effective jokes of the evening.
His off-the-cuff remarks and improv comedy warmed up the audience remarkably quickly, getting very well-acquainted to one guy named Liam who went with his ex to Sri Lanka and a woman named Rebecca who collects football stickers. It seemed almost strange when he went into his rehearsed material as he was managing so well without it.
“It was refreshing and hilarious”
He is quick-witted and clearly intelligent and although many of his jokes came from situations scarily relateable, it was refreshing and hilarious to get to know the calamitous Ivo who draws on his unique experiences to come up with such an entertaining scope of stories.
What struck me the most was the honesty in which he addresses topics and the extremely English way that he pushes the limits of oversharing yet manages to stop at just the right moment. The delivery of the lines was casual yet timed so perfectly and the show’s content was up to scratch so there was hardly a moment that I wasn’t laughing.
“Liam and his surrounding group of medics couldn’t stop laughing and didn’t hesitate to join Ivo on stage”
The rest of the audience seemed to be enjoying it as much as I was despite the embarrassment faced by those directly involved but even Liam and his surrounding group of medics couldn’t stop laughing and didn’t hesitate to join Ivo on stage during the last section of his show for what can only be described as an impressive showcase of his hidden talents through the use of powerpoint, a large spreadsheet and a video which left me crying with laughter long after he had left the room.
It was a comedy show unlike any I have been to before, combining the expected jokes and audience interactions with such a loveable, self-aware personality and sharpness that left my stomach aching. One Ivo Graham show is never going to be the same as another so I look forward to his upcoming tours and the quirky insights he has yet to give us into the life of a 27 year old still going on family holidays.
Image Courtesy of The Glee Official Webpage.