Last night was the first time that I had seen the act of Halifax-based comedian Merv Hartlen, who performs his one man show Merv’n Out as part of the Atlantic Fringe Festival. I then got the opportunity to watch him do a slightly different set as part of Bill Wood’s Big Fringe Comedy Night. He has a solid set, a nice mixture of boyish charm, awkwardness and an immediate self deprecating easygoingness that endears him immediately to the audience and allies them immediately on his side.
Merv’n’ Out is mostly a stand up set, but there is also a parody of a stand up set, effectively presented by Merv’s alter ego Stan Ferguson and a trip through Disney World circa 1981. A lot that is offered up by Merv here is very funny and original. The challenging aspect of the show is in the middle when Merv reads a long story centering on his older brother, Justin, and explores the question of which ultimately wealds the most power: money or books? I think if Merv had told us the story, and perhaps if it had been a little more compact and punchier, rather than read it, it would have been a much stronger component in the show. Conversely, if he had taken the reading and the long winding story components even farther he could have effectively set up another parody character like Stan Ferguson.
Likely the highlight of our experience Merv’n’ Out is the rousing chorus at the end of the evening of his hit and classic tune “Don’t Call Me Merv,” which is sure to get stuck in your head and remain there well into the night.
Merv’n Out plays at the Living Room (2353 Agricola Street) at the following times:
Thursday September 6th at 8:40pm
Friday September 7th at 7:00pm
Saturday September 8th at 7:40pm
Sunday September 9th at 8:40pm
It is $7.00 to book tickets please visit this website or call (902) 999-7469 or visit the Box Office at the Seaport Farmers’ Market at Pavilion 20 on Marginal Road. Tickets are also available at the venue ONE hour before the show. Happy Fringe!
Incoming search terms:
- merv hartlen