Jimmy McGhie: Winged Goddess of Victory

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 16 Aug 2015

Cursed with one of the most nondescript names in standup, Jimmy McGhie has a stage persona to match. In checked shirt and jeans, he looks like any number of young men found in his own audience. His voice, too, is suitably dull, a gentle middle-class intonation crying out to be heard on Radio 4. Without a singular world view and few identifiable quirks or preoccupations, he relies on beautifully judged sentence construction to stand out from other, equally quick-witted, hopefuls.

His ear for amusing language is evident in his show's title, Winged Goddess of Victory being a phrase McGhee stumbled across while researching running shoes. In noticing it, he found drama and eccentricity in the mundane, but more often it's the comedian who forces these qualities upon his subject matter. What would otherwise be tediously gentle banter with some Australian latecomers is elevated enormously by this approach, as is a nostalgic routine on middle-class holidays.

This is not to say McGhie doesn't have moments of all-round inspiration. His retort to pregnant couples posting ultrasound scans to their Facebook walls is cynical and absurd, while his focus on the administrative side of dark, emotionally charged topics is notable for its odd sense of detachment. Solid as he is though, this fifth solo show from the comedian stops short of being a must-see.