FRINGE REVIEW – Conor O’Toole’s Manual of Style

*****

One of the joys of the Fringe is the way it allows people who have a particular passion to indulge themselves by creating a show around it – and perhaps even find an audience of like-minded folk in the

process.

Conor O’Toole is a case in point. This former engineer and amateur graphic designer clearly spends far too much time thinking about typography. And yet here he is on a rare sunny Edinburgh afternoon, presenting an hour of stand-up comedy about his specialist subject to a room full of people who cheer fonts as others might do celebrity guests.

The show gets off to a slow start. O’Toole’s intro is deliberately low-key and a selection of “so bad they’re good” jokes occasionally miss the mark entirely. But O’Toole himself is amiably shambolic and the audience are clearly on his side.

It is when the overhead projector comes out that the gloves come off and O’Toole shows what he can really do. Which in this case is talk about typography in an amusing fashion. As he warms to his subject, the jokes get funnier and the terminology more obscure. But fear not, O’Toole educates the typographically challenged using music, poetry, Fringe programmes and an original animation. The audience even get their own handy pocket-sized rhyming style manuals to take away.

Does comic sans gets you hot under the collar? Fancy a bit of group kerning? If you’d choose Akzidenz-Grotesk over Arial, you’ll find Conor O’Toole is just your style.

4-28 Aug (not 16) 1600 (1700) @ Just the Tonic at the Store

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