Alex Horne – Edinburgh Fringe review

A cunning interweaving of fact and fiction. What’s undeniably true is that this is another delightful Edinburgh show by Alex Horne

Alex Horne

There is nothing new about a stand-up comic miming to a recording of his work, but that doesn’t stop Alex Horne’s show from hitting the heights of wit and ingenuity.

In Lies, the former public schoolboy and “platinum-selling R&B artist” interweaves his own successes and failures, real and imagined, with audio versions of celebrity memoirs, and mixes puns, self-deprecation and increasingly scatological imagery.

Dressed almost entirely in black, he begins by miming to his own recorded voice – a trick I saw done by Phil Cool, the now-veteran Lancashire comedian, nearly 20 years ago – before adding the sounds of Michael Caine, Andre Agassi and Cherie Blair.

Horne dextrously pulls apart the big-selling “confessional” tomes by today’s stars, and the moments of mundanity, life experience and homespun philosophy they contain.

“You’ll never get to heaven if you tell lies little boy,” intones Caine’s trademark London twang, seeming to emerge from the actor’s autobiography, which is propped on an easel onstage.

While Caine’s excerpts are the voice of common sense, Agassi’s come from his lessons from the crazy, super-rich world of Las Vegas – “your heart is like a tennis bag, you have to know what is in it at all times”. Horne returns to this epigram with obvious glee, switching between the highs, lows and prosaic realities of Agassi’s life as a former world number one player, now married to Steffi Graf.

When Cherie Blair drops in, along with her hairdresser, also called Andre, then Horne’s story becomes more absurd, and borders on brilliance. His lies are a pleasure to hear.

4 stars
Review written by Peter Edwards
• Alex Horne – Lies is at 8.30pm at Pleasance Courtyard

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