3 ½ stars
Some stand up shows... well, they stand out as opposed to up and Struan All Over the World is one of them.
Beginning his set sitting on the edge of the stage, Struan Logan turned what could have been a passive one way experience for his audience into something more like a long, rambling chat with a bunch of friends.
Logan started by rearranging the room a little bit. The first row of chairs were stacked up, and the stage pulled forward a little, all while he was maintaining an easy dialogue with the audience. You’d be forgiven for thinking he was just an overly chatty staff member, if he hadn’t already introduced himself.
In this relaxed show, Logan’s ability to bounce off an audience and poke gentle fun at them helps to maintain a connection that seems beyond the abilities of many comedians. He is able to roll with the punches, with audience members feeling comfortable enough to pipe up with jibes or comments. Although some fellow artists disrupted the show by coming and going in rapid succession, and Logan momentarily lost his train of thought after calling them out for it, his genuine connection with the audience enabled a quick recovery.
Logan’s material is drawn almost exclusively from his experiences travelling around the world. This is an area that many comedians would have struggled with, unable to avoid the tropes of othering comedy. He's well aware that the great unifying factor between himself and his hosts is their respective histories with the English and, having acknowledged the differences between a number of cultures, never stoops to a colonial, imperialist approach.
In Struan All Over the World, Logan plays with stereotypes and the concept of othering. He oozes charisma, with his gleeful eyes peeking out from a face largely obscured by a bright orange beard. He’s clearly having a grand time, telling his stories of hostels and flour bags, and his audience is too.
Tickets available from the FRINGE WORLD website.