Bunbury Magazine – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Don’t Bother may seem like a strange title for a show, the first full show a performer is undertaking, almost as if Broccan is challenging the audience not to come. For those that may have fallen at the first hurdle, or done as they are told, what they missed was an hour of comedic poetry, or poetic comedy, delivered by a performer who may be at the start of his career but was at the top of his game.
I have seen Broccan perform many times, as an open-micer and headliner, at various poetry nights in the Manchester area. Each time, he has presented poetry totally different to the political, personal, nostalgia-driven – not to say phenomenal – norm. From poems about the Queen in panto, absurdist logical conclusions derived from outdated t-shirt slogans to pigeons, Broccan has a sharp focus on the comedic gravitas, with a delivery and talent for subverting the forms of what is expected akin to Stewart Lee. And normally I detest describing one performer in terms of another but there is no way I can convey what was experienced in that room at the King’s Arms in Salford that night.
It was a delight to see Broccan stitch everything I had seen previously together into a narrative. In reality, Broccan’s call to ‘Don’t Bother’ is in the face of trying to find an overarching narrative, a series of interconnected themes that weave through the set. I have sat with tables, Venn diagrams, pundits in search of a narrative. There is one there, but I’m sure as hell not going to give it away in this review.
This is a set that has been wonderfully constructed, the introduction of each poem being very clearly defined and well-performed, building and subverting the expectations of what is to come. This is not your typical poetry, and I will bang that drum til the cows have got up for work the next day. The set is interspersed with sections about human endeavour, in the context of Neil Armstrong, this narrative building beautifully to its own, and the show’s, denouement.
As much as I can talk about the excellent wordsmithery, the intelligence of the writing, the variation of moods and atmospheres blended seamlessly together through the entire hour, honestly, my favourite part was the fact Broccan wore the same outfit for performing as he wore on the poster. As some of you may know, I have seen and reviewed literally hundreds of shows of all types in the last five years, and that is the first time I have seen that.
Ignore the title of the show, Do Bother. And buy the man a pint after the show, unless he’s doing Dry January, in which case buy him two.
Broccan Tyzack-Carlin – Don’t Bother
King’s Arms, Salford – 24/11/18
Another performance at LEAF, Portland Street, Manchester
For info and tickets, https://www.facebook.com/events/973503269505477/