I was pretty excited by the prospect of Michael Burke in Cubehead, a show promising to blend the stories of the human Michael and an extraterrestrial with a Rubik’s Cube for a cranium. Listed as a comedy in the Fringe guide, its blurb has a note “Show features surprises and is quite silly.” While this is true, it didn’t get close to passing the “Is it funny?” test.
I don’t go to much stand-up comedy these days as I find the format quite stale, but I was hoping for some clever character comedy. Most of the segments alternated between tales of Burke’s struggles to find his place in the world and Cubehead’s similar difficulties in fitting in on his own planet. Unfortunately, Burke’s stories are over long, such as his time at a Vipassana meditation retreat, have predictable conclusions or don’t deliver laughs. They also mean that Cubehead’s story – the potentially unconventional and appealing part of the show – doesn’t get much time.
And there’s not much of an over all story and the show would benefit from a better filtering of ideas. Too much was spelt out for the audience and incongruous pairings don’t magically translate into funny.
Still, I liked the bubble machine at the start and the dancing furby at the end, but I would have had much more interest in a story where eccentricity isn’t used as a substitute for laughs or coherency of writing.