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Alex Horne: Birdwatching
My dadís a birdwatcher. Iím not. But for one year I travelled round Britain, Bahrain, Birdworld and Bill Oddie in a bid to discover what makes him twitch. A true tale of hornithology from the Perrier Award nominee and Chortle Award winner.
Fed up with comedians who know what theyíre talking about? Alex Horne may be your man. As he cheerfully admits, his knowledge of birdwatching Ė the theme for 60 minutes of stand-up Ė is negligible.
Or at least it was. He decided to take an interest to try to get closer to his father, an avid twitcher, who heís nicknamed Duncton.
Of course, being a geeky comedian with a Fringe show to write, Horne decided the best way to immerse himself in his dadís world was with a pointless challenge he could obsess over. Thus the contest was set: to see who could see the most species of bird in the wild in the course of a year.
Cue the obligatory PowerPoint demonstrations of how the adventureís going (Horne likes the software almost as much as Duncton likes birds) as we race towards the climactic deadline.
In the end, the quest is, sensibly, played down, especially given how overcrowded this genre has become. Instead, itís a more straightforward story, illustrated by Horneís decidedly lo-fi animations. Birdwatching is more restrained in its use of technology than Horneís previous shows, and less complicatedly ambitious.
It relies instead on his low-key stand-up charm, of which he has plenty. Heís not especially confident in delivery, but that same trait means he can also be engagingly self-effacing about his own inadequacies. At times, he sounds uncannily like his friend Mark Watson, as he talks about every trivial happening in the room.
Birdwatching hides are not, as Horne points out, the best place for hilarious banter, so the comedy he gets from Dunctonís hobby is slight. It does, however, form a convenient platform for him to talk about his dad, with obvious affection but not much fanfare.
Itís an amiable, rather sweet, show, if light on substance and gut-busting hilarity.
Reviewed by Steve Bennett
Saw Alex on Saturday. Brilliant. Jokes came thick and fast.
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How To Avoid Huge Ships
Pecha Kucka KLK with David O'Doherty
We Need Answers: The Inaugural Festival Challenge Cup
Alex Horne: Word Watching
We Need Answers 
Alex Horne: Odds
Alex Horne: Taskmaster
The Horne Section
Alex Horne: Seven Years In The Bathroom
Alex Horne: Taskmaster II
The Horne Section 2011
BBC: Alex Horne Presents The Horne Section
Horne and Key and ...
The Horne Section: Live At The Grand!
Alex Horne: Lies
The Horne Section Live In A Cow
Horne Section's Family Bash