Review: Netflix and Will

Alex Sorgo 21 February 2018

With an impressive record of performing experience under his belt, including a sell-out stint at the Fringe last summer, Will Hall established himself as a rising future talent in his stand-up routine at the Corpus Playroom.

Aptly titled ‘Netflix and Will’, the show traversed tales of Hall’s love life, private school background and often ventured into darker territories exploring themes of loneliness and depression. Hall’s self-proclaimed idol is Stephen Fry, and this was reflected in the candid nature of his act. At the outset, Hall informed the audience that the theme of his show would be ‘failure’: a subversive choice for a comedy show, yet one which allowed his particular style of self-deprecating wit to shine. If comedy is a mirror of society’s flaws and idiosyncrasies, Hall went further and allowed the audience a brief glance into his childhood insecurities and perceived shortcomings.

This was reflected through his habit of innocuously checking the back of his hand for prompt-words of his act, and brushing it off as fixing his hair. To be fair to Hall, he did inform the audience at the start that he would need to consult his cues, which made this habit more endearing than a hindrance to audience enjoyment. Indeed, anecdotal talent is where Hall really stood out, delivering his act with a polished eloquence and rapid-fire pace that sometimes left the audience lagging to grasp the punchline. Nevertheless, Hall ad-libbed these minor hitches like a true professional, with tongue-in-cheek comments, noting that he would remove those particular jokes from future routines.

Comedic physicality and stage presence generally complemented the character of his act. This was accentuated through the understated and small venue of the Playroom, which allowed Hall’s reflections to take the tone of a personal confession, albeit with frequent bravado. At times, there were some logical inconsistencies in his script — which meant that some anecdotes contradicted claims made in others — but overall, there was consistent and genuine laughter from the crowd on the night. A performer to watch.