Andrew Maxwell: Hubble Bubble | Review by Barrie Morgan
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Andrew Maxwell: Hubble Bubble

Review by Barrie Morgan

This is Andrew Maxwell's 20th year at the Fringe. Much like Scotland in the last 20 years, the cheeky Irish comic has gone from strength to strength, building confidence with each year. Now he's back to Edinburgh to tell us about the referendum in his own satirically abrasive voice. There is no acquiesce or conformity with Maxwell, as his views cut the crowd like that loose strand of hair cuts across his forehead. It's decisive, relaxed and unashamedly Maxwell.

Fair warning is given to the mainly Scottish audience that he is going to be tearing into both campaigns for and against independence. True to his word, he doesn't hold back and tears Scotland a new one in general. He risks upsetting both sides of supporters, but Maxwell cruises through on his charm and patter, ensuring any hurt feelings are quickly forgotten in place of the next laugh.

The Ballroom at the Assembly Rooms is a grand setting for the Irishman on this nationally defining topic. By his own admission he's ploughed the depths of information both for material and for personal interest. He found a lot to laugh about – this is Scottish politics after all – and Maxwell does a good job to make this engaging and relevant. He discusses life in London, ownership of national assets and Tony Blair as he casually strolls around the stage. He's a delight to watch at work and his Scottish accents are worth the cost of admission alone.

As a set it's not as filled with the righteous ire that Maxwell sometimes exhibits. The pace is slow and contemplative, with Maxwell pausing every few sentences. He's clearly enjoying himself and these gaps allow the audience to process the previous joke while they anticipate the next. It all comes across as effortless and easy.

By the end, it's clear Maxwell is just as unsure as the rest of us about the future of Scotland. But as a comic his future is as bright as ever. We’ll probably be seeing him for the next 20 years whether Scotland goes independent or not.

Review date: 10 Aug 2014
Reviewed by: Barrie Morgan
Reviewed at: Assembly Rooms Fringe

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