I walked into Laugh Gallery’s Graham Clark Reads the Phone Book wondering if Graham would actually be reading from a real life phone book. He does, and it is a hilarious and informative journey that is a must see at the 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival.
Graham comes with a resume I have to say I am embarrassed not to have heard about before booking to review this show. A version of the show was performed at the 2015 Next Stage Theatre Festival this past winter to positive reviews, one of which was done by Mooney on Theatre. Graham has performed other material at Just For Laughs, the Halifax Comedy Festival, and the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, in addition to appearing on HBO’s Funny As Hell and being a 3-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee. All this, and according to his website he paints with his beard. I love it.
This year’s Fringe version is a comedy event more than a traditional “theatre show” and Graham, being a stand-up comedian by trade, is awkwardly comfortable on stage as he tells stories about the genesis of the show and his interaction with the phone book. One story even has a connection to the Book of Genesis and it had the audience in stitches.
Other highlights include his story of actually trying to find a real life phone book, information about Iceland, and how he once ate a slice of pizza so fast he bit his hand. To go on would be to steal (even more) words from Graham and thus, steal laughter and happiness from future audiences and I do not want to be accused of doing either.
Graham Clark Reads the Phone Book is a treat and judging by the structure of the show, each performance has the possibility of being unique, which is why I would suggest buying tickets ahead of time because as the word gets out tickets will become scarce. Simply put, if you like to laugh, Graham Clark will induce it and laugh along with you. At the very least, you will learn some things about the phone book along the way.
- Graham Clark Reads the Phone Book is playing until July 12th at the Factory Theatre Studio. (125 Bathurst Street)
- Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 at the door. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), from the festival box office down Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor West), or from the venue box office starting one hour before the performance. Venue sales are cash-only.
- Be advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time, and arrive a few minutes early to avoid disappointment.
- Mature Language
- Saturday the 4th at 5:15pm
- Sunday the 5th at 4:45pm
- Tuesday the 7th at 1:15pm
- Wednesday the 8th at 11:00pm
- Saturday the 11th at 7:30pm
- Sunday the 12th at 7:30pm
Photo provided by the company.