'Who Am I?' is a question that has faced mankind for generations, and Orlando Gibbs attempts to answer that in a neat one-hour show. And, according to the hour I spent in his company last night, he is “a water shunning devil baby”, “a part-time owl”, “a vampiric brick” and “ a pervy sidekick” among others.
Gibbs is a 19 year-old Classics student with a sharp sense of humour and a sharp sense of dress (as he pointed out, he chose to perform in a button down fish-print patterned Zara shirt and Marks and Spencers days of the week socks). While he didn’t always hit the mark, the evening was chock-a-block full of laugh-out loud funny moments, perhaps a sign of his long-term commitment to the Footlights scene.
After a playlist of smartly-picked songs dealing with identity, Gibbs starts the evening with some healthy audience banter to settle us in, despite seeming a little nervous. Luckily the nerves dissipate quickly and the show fast transforms into a delightful blend of perfectly timed comic pauses, fantastically apt facial expressions and effective physical comedy. The set is sparse and appears to have props remaining from the previous production, which later come in handy in a seemingly ominously choreographed turn of fate.
The audience are somewhat disoriented as he flits from subject to subject in a seemingly incoherent manner, but the laughs flow regardless. His self-deprecating, cheeky-chappy attitude is endearing to the point of being reminiscent of a Notting Hill-era Hugh Grant. Perceptive self-awareness about his middle class status allows him to play off the stereotype fantastically. Nothing seems to phase him, not even when he can’t work the projector used to display an image of foetus-Orlando as an icebreaker or when he can’t open the top of his bottle.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and even if Orlando is no closer to self-discovery, then he is surely one step closer to making his mark on Cambridge's illustrious comedy scene.
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