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Edinburgh Fringe 2011: Jim Smallman - Tattooligan


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Jim Smallman’s show revolves around anecdotes about his tattoos, his life and his daughter but this reviewer was left less than satisfied.

Jim SmallmanAn interesting storyteller, Smallman delivers his prose with the aid of a back projection which showcases each of the tattoos on his body along with a little ‘meaningless’ story.

Smallman insists at this point that his tattoos are meaningless and just bits of fun art on his body. He goes on to put up quotes from his radio show listeners who have seen a picture of his tattooed body and delivers material pertaining to each quote. However I was confused as to whether this was an exercise in telling an audience about your life or whether it was a comedy act. Very few laughs were emitted as I struggled to get the 'jokes' or where it was all going.

Anecdotes about his daughter did warm my heart a little but were still, unfortunately, not funny enough to lift this act into the realm of comedy.

A revelation at the end of the show informs the audience that his tattoos do actually mean something – I was less than surprised – and all in all this is a show that was not found to be particularly funny or particularly much of anything.

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