The Pleasance, Caledonian Road, London, 30/06/2019.
Gentlemon is George Fouracres debut hour of stand up, though he has been performing for quite some time and was a member of the sketch group Daphne along with Jason Forbes and Phil Wang. That probably goes some way to explain just why this was such a stellar show, first hour’s are often a little patchy as the comedian is trying to find their voice but there’s no doubt that Fouracres has already found his, and boy, what an impressive voice it is too.
Starting off with material about his hometown near Wolverhampton he chats about what it’s like to come from the Black Country, with examples of how they speak and a couple of jokes that were told to him when young, before he launches in to a superb routine about what it was like to be posh in such a place. Not that he came from a posh family, and his status and class is a big theme throughout the show, as he talks about how everyone loved his working class Grandfather, always calling him a Gentleman (or if you say it with a Black Country accent, a Gentlemon).
Despite stressing that he loves his Grandfather, that he’s a kind, warm and loving man, George has to confess that he wished to kill him each and every day due to the fact that he went through a daily routine which involved waking them up at an ungodly hour. Up until now the show had been intermittently funny but from here on in it was all but hysterical stuff with Fouracres able to impersonate the myriad of noises his Grandfather was responsible for with consummate skill.
Every so often Fouracres inserts some character comedy in to the set, taking a brief break from the story of his upbringing to shake things up a little, the first is a local Butcher which made me smile but nothing more than that and needs a little work, but the second is very strong as he takes on the role of a choir singer who doesn’t know all of the words, while the third sees him impersonate Pamela Cundell (Mrs Fox from Dad’s Army) in a brief skit which is just stunning, and the highlight of an hour packed with laughs.
In between these parts he also tells of the excitement of the family’s weekend trip to McDonalds to have breakfast, followed by a brief bit of shopping where his three brothers went to Woolworths but he visited Sketchley’s a dry cleaners that also sold strange oddities like a tortoise shell with a shaving mirror, all of which is impressively funny. Fouracres can take a fairly mundane tale and make it comedy gold just due to his skill with language, and if I’ve any complaint is that it ends with his thoughts on class that while fascinating aren’t particularly amusing, and it’s only this very last part which needs tightening up a little.
Given the fact that several hundred comedians head up to Edinburgh every year it may be difficult to catch every one who deserves to be seen, but if you’re going to the festival you’d be making a huge mistake if you didn’t get tickets for Fouracres. He’s a charming, engaging comedian with a great line in gentle absurdity and I’d be amazed if he doesn’t make it to the big time extremely quickly, so this is your chance to catch him before he becomes very famous indeed.