ANDREW CLOVER: PUPPY LOVE
Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 2001

**** The joy is in the unpredictability

Andrew Clover, nominated for the Best Newcomer Perrier award last year, returns with another seat-of-the-pants semi-improvised show

Clover enjoys picking on members of his audience, but he gives 200% back. Like Canadian comic Sean Cullen, he is not afraid to improvise far out into thin air whenever the opportunity arises; unlike Cullen, he has not yet found a half-dignified way of returning when his spontaneous riffs misfire.

The scripted half of the show concerns his failed relationship with girlfriend Nell, compared to his successful one with the mongrel puppy which accompanies him on to the stage. But Clover is hungry for digression: on the night I saw him, he drifted into a fake-mediumship routine (with a great deal of skill), conjured up images of strange birdlike babies and made repeated sexual propositions to various members of the audience.  However, he was kept in check by another punter whom he had appointed to batter him with a huge inflatable hammer whenever things got too smutty.

His stage persona is still a tad on the artificial side: he seems to need a certain thickness of character mask before he can cavort to his heart's content but his transition from acting to comedy is proceeding apace, and it's well worth seeing him on the journey.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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