Just the Tonic at Bristo Square
August 1st to 12th and 14th to 25th
Mark Restuccia has a distinctly dead pan style. And there’s little doubt that he has some interesting stories to tell. But he also seems to have somewhat of a chip on his shoulder. Right from the outset we are made to feel guilty for not laughing at him. Excuse me, but some people have payed the best part of a tenner to see your show Mark, the least you can do us make them laugh. His tales of Internet dating desperation, while not unengaging, had a somewhat melancholic and nihilistic bent. If not a bit depressing. Which for a comedy show isn’t good. Now I’m not averse to some tragi-comedy myself but his faint sense of superiority and arrogance made it hard to empathise. It was all kind of a dirge. The All About Eve of comedy if you will. The tale of thin Lizzy and her smelliness and grubby flat and his contractual obligation to have sex with her in the hands of a more sparky and energised comic could have been gold. But here, a potentially rich source of humour fell flat like a stale lettuce sandwich, that just needed a bit of bacon to liven it up.
I will conclude however with the fact that his show did have a happy ending. And while not inducing the long awaited belly laughter of release did inspire a mighty aaaawwww from the audience. So yes, the show did finally become a little life affirming but after nearly an hour of staring into the pit of one mans desperation it didn’t rescue the show. Good luck to the guy though. But seriously, is guilt tripping really the path to true romance? Apparently so. TWO STARS