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Andrew Bailey

Andrew Bailey

Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2003

Think of him as a cabaret commando with equipment customised for a mission of the most absurd and chaotic kind.

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Original Review:

Freak, oddball, looney, surreal... there are lots of words to describe Andrew Bailey. But funny isn't one of them.

In a typical scene from this bizarre show, he dons a military cap and zooms a toy Stealth bomber around the room, from which he takes four plastic alligators, and makes them mime to a home-made doo-wop track.

There's no denying that weird can be funny, but this is just a middle-aged man playing with some cheap toys - and it's shamelessly appalling. And an hour of this self-indulgent nonsense is as agonisingly awful as you might imagine.

He can raise a titter; you'd have to have a pretty hard heart not to be amused by the image of a man with a large industrial glove on his head or wearing a gas-mask upside down to make a disturbingly freakish mouth out of what should be the eyes.

But once you've seen the ridiculous sight, that's it ; there's no substance to sustain it. And most the ideas are much funnier in principle than in practice anyway.

The audience, who sat mostly in stony silence and slack-jawed bewilderment, seemed to disappoint him. He got visibly riled at out not laughing, or when he couldn't find some of his props, all adding to the awkward air of discomfort surrounding the show.

That's the problem with having a unique sense of humour - by definition, no one is going to share it.

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