Karin Melchior, theatreview.co.nz' His material is very original and he has a delightful way of making the mundane totally insane. What I love about him is that he has such sincerity in his delivery. A story about something as lightweight as a supermarket purchase can be endowed with the gravity of a great philosophical dilemma, and the fact that he genuinely believes it is so funny!'open/close
Having seen Tom Furniss in the 2011 V48 Hours Grand Prize-winning film, The Child Jumpers – a hilarious little mockumentary about a group of guys who jump over small children for fun – I am already endeared to this disarming, if slightly geeky, young comedian.
When he arrives on stage at the Cavern Club with his pants pulled up a fraction too high by his braces and his red bow tie, he is just so cute, I want to invite him home for Sunday tea, in a completely maternal way of course! He opens by asking the audience to imagine him in a pre-entrance fantasy romp with a waitress out in a luxurious greenroom… stop right there! It's wrong on so many levels! This could be my son ...
But wait a minute, it is my son; valiantly taking the stage while Tom hands out the ice-creams. I think he thought he was going to hand out the ice creams, what a cruel trick! Good on him though, having a go with Tom's trusty book of dreadful jokes, and his hands aren't even shaking. Such a brave, clever, talented boy … but who am I reviewing here?
Back to the main attraction. Tom regales us with his ideas for ‘chippy packet' jokes, his attempts at becoming a great writer of short stories (most of which fitted on a post it note) and his completely bizarre movie pitches, the potential of which are sadly lost on PJ.
It's enough to make your hair curl, but he is so charmingly kooky and left-field, and his delivery so earnest and deadpan – he so genuinely believes he's going to go places – that you just have to laugh, and the audience does, in bucket loads.
His material is very original and he has a delightful way of making the mundane totally insane. What I love about him is that he has such sincerity in his delivery. A story about something as lightweight as a supermarket purchase can be endowed with the gravity of a great philosophical dilemma, and the fact that he genuinely believes it is so funny!
This is his debut solo stand up show and it's hard to believe. He seems like an old hand, completely comfortable in his onstage persona and never faltering for a second. His humour is so off-beat, that half the time I have no idea why I'm laughing like a demented banshee, but I am and so, I'm relieved to see, is the rest of the Cavern Club.
His 2012 Billy T nomination is well deserved and I'm sure he will go places, bless him!