Ian Stone: Healthy Disrespect
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2007
From BBC2's Mock The Week and Radio 5's Fighting Talk. Expect disobedience, disruption, dissent, dispute and, of course, healthy disrespect.
I had high hopes for Ian Stone’s show. Not only is he a seasoned performer, but he has a brilliant line in political humour. Not only was I not disappointed, he blew all my expectations away.
This was a brilliant hour of seamless stand-up, flawless in its structure and flow. From the moment he steps on stage it feels that you are hearing one idea, one stream of consciousness. He does not stop or pause to change direction, his first thought leads to his last and you realise that every word he has uttered was deliberate, to encourage you to have a healthy disrespect for everything.
Stone begins with a safe topic, taking the kids to buy shoes, and a lunch in John Lewis – with the hilarious consequences coming not from the kids, as you would expect, but from fellow diners.
This sets the scene for the rest of Stone’s show, that the funny is not in the obvious and is almost always in the actions of others.
He takes us through story after story where we end up questioning the logic of politicians and religion. He continually points out the line and steps over it teaching us, his followers, that to question is never as scary as you think, nor as offensive.
However, it never feels as if he is preaching or standing on his soapbox, a trap that lesser comedians could fall in to. He respects the intelligence of the audience to be able to keep up.
Stone’s skill as a comedian is in highlighting the stupidity of the common man through beautifully crafted stories, peppered with gags and asides, hilarious throughout. Not a word is wasted in his clever telling of his world view.
Reviewed by:Rosie Carnahan