Returning to the Fringe following a solid debut hour last year, Glenn Moore is back and plying his quirky craft once more. He's brought with him a show that builds on the previous installment's gag-rate, but is still somewhat dogged by the same issues as before.
The Very Best of Belinda Carlisle (a title that nicely encapsulates the comic misdirection he's known for – there are none of The Go-Go's greatest hits to be found here) is an extended tale of Moore's search for a missing girl 13 years ago, and how the story has caught up with him in the present day. Told with his trademark brand of flustered whimsy, absurdist wordplay and bait-and-switch delivery, it's a pleasant (if sensationally implausible) mystery arc replete with romance and neatly threaded callbacks.
Central to his comic style is the aforementioned deception in his jokes: you're never sure whether he's revealing a sincere plot detail or just a surrealist throway line. This suspension of disbelief, and constant inversion thereof, is what makes his jokes work but also what causes his storytelling to fall apart. It's an artistic choice that works in terms of reflex laughs, but for him to invest this much time into constructing a narrative only to undermine it himself at every turn, the jokes had better be worth it.
For the most part though, they are. He's an undoubted talent whose star is rising, and even if it betrays a lack of restraint on his part, it makes for a turbulent, entertaining ride.