Andrew Maxwell’s run of brilliant form continues
As ever we have to rely on Andrew Maxwell to actually engage with the issues of the day. Scottish independence need not be the domain of Scottish comedians, but it’s left to Maxwell to have the intellectual curiosity and courage to give it a go. And I’d be surprised if there’s anyone else on the Fringe this year with better material on the matter.
He seems exasperated at the task, at Scotland’s “daft politics”. He’s sent himself mad, he says, with all the boning up he has done, “but I’ve learned a lot of things along the way”. The devilish smile is in place as he warns any Scots in that he’s going to “rip the fuck out of everything you hold dear”.
That’s mainly bravado, but certainly the rigour of his preparation comes through as he considers the political make-up of Scotland, and imagines asking different types of Scot what he thinks of the independence issue, from the junkie to the comfy golfer. Maxwell isn’t known for his mimicry but in fact it’s his renditions of these characters that really set the show alight. Likewise, his portrayal of an Orangeman pitching to the lodge his request to be a majorette at the front of the annual march, is quiet comedy perfection.
There are also strong sections on the potential fate of Northern Ireland if Scotland did indeed go it alone, and the short-sightedness of British obsession with Scandinavia. Although he appears to be basing that partly on the lack of junkies to mimic. You will also find one of the most eloquent take downs of Nigel Farage in this show. Not that it’s standard liberal stuff – Maxwell has never been ideologically blinkered, and here he expresses his distaste for scapegoating Tories.
A section on how “we’re all the same genetically anyway” feels like a bit of a cop out, but otherwise this is another combative, heavyweight hour of stand-up from Maxwell.
Review by Paul Fleckney