COMEDY – Pierre Novellie: You’re expected to Care at Pleasance Courtyard


PIERRE Novellie is a professional. With a versatile knowledge of current affairs, a peculiar Etonian charisma and a keen observational eye, Novellie ensures little break from laughter.

[star rating =4/5]

An image of Pierre Novellie
Image: Matt Stronge

Seemingly claiming heritage from every corner of the globe, Novellie offers a brilliant through-the-looking-glass view at the state of Britain today, discussing – internet pornography, ISIS, the cult of celebrity and much more.

There is something truly impressive in the way he continually loops back into these topics, giving the show a sense of cohesively without it feeling forced or hamfisted.

However, while respecting his audience’s smarts, Novellie never gets bogged down in pure intellectualism.

Instead, he uses the more thought-provoking segments as segway to prolonged sections of absurdist meandering, placing the priority on gaining laughs rather than making a statement.

There’s something pleasing in the lack of straightforward ‘gags’ in the show, with Novellie maintaining a level of energy and trust in his audience through exploration of a single comical idea, rather than the standard build-up and punchline. This gives the show an organic, almost conversational feel which makes the jarringly sudden ending less problematic, as there was no expectation of climax.

Novellie’s stage persona seems to sell half the show, exuding a confidence that would encourage a positive response even if his gags didn’t. There is a chance this persona could rub certain people the wrong way, with this confidence being viewed instead as a posh smugness and the ‘clever’ aspects of the show being deemed instead a little pseudo-intellectual. 

Regardless, for those wanting effortless and intelligent satire with no bells or whistles, look no further than Pierre Novellie.