Nick Hall: Dodekahedron

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 12 Aug 2015

At the end of his show Dodekahedron Nick Hall acknowledges some of the limitations of the character comedy format he uses –the absence of an overriding theme, and the meaningless title. He points out the falsity of the premise, even if he's worked hard to avoid this by framing the whole hour as being performed by an actor, with "Hall" himself merely a persona that needs more work.

The wealth of characters Hall delivers demonstrates his skills in a wide range of joking. Some, such as an MP giving a conference speech and an over-enthusiastic German industrialist have decent punchlines flipping what has gone before. Others, including a sensual Halfords worker and testosterone-fuelled thriller writer impress with their consistency of point of view. But others—two of whom are self-deluded actors—rely on the use of well-trodden comedic ideas, lacking invention that would mark them as novel.

This is a decent set of sketches, and Hall has a charm that buoys the crowd along, working adroitly with well-meaning but potentially off-putting audience comebacks. Yet all the characters are framed entirely by their jobs, and little insight is given into their fuller lives. This means it's hard to conceive of them existing outside of their current sketch, lacking the individuality and specificity that makes outstanding character comedy fly. That said, there's the germ of something special here and it'll be fascinating to see what Hall does in the future.