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Andrew Bird: The Unlikely Lad
Andrew Bird was born with a massive handicap. He’s white, English, straight and male and he’s spent his whole life trying to make it up to everyone around him.
He has overcompensated, spending much too much time and effort tiptoeing over the eggshells of today’s social politics. Trying too hard to make everyone like him and not view him as just another fully paid up member of England’s ‘lad culture’. This has only made things far worse.
His recent marriage to Slovakian, Katka, means he now feels that he has to apologise for himself on an international level as well. He even converted to Catholicism to gain acceptance with his wife’s family, who having witnessed the typical behaviour of the white, English, straight male, were quite frankly appalled by her choice of husband.
Andew Bird: The Unlikely Lad
Andrew Bird complains that he has ‘no identity; no image; nothing’ – which is something of a drawback for a Fringe comedian looking to make an impact. He’s a white, youngish man, somewhere between middle and working class, and from the nondescript town of Northampton, neither Northern not Southern.
But despite these terrible handicaps, he’s fashioned a charming hour of uncomplicated anecdotal stand-up where, in fact, his everyman outlook comes in remarkably useful. The audience can share the embarrassment of his faux pas, knowing something similar could so easily happen to them – and probably has.
The show starts simply enough with discussions about how he doesn’t quite fit into the laddish culture, how the BNP are idiots, and how Jordan probably isn’t one of Britain’s proudest achievements. So far, so conventional, with material made more enjoyable that it might be by Bird’s effortless, conversational style.
One angle of the show is about his English trait of never wanting to make a fuss lest people think less of him. But he ends up looking a fool anyway, as he revels in two entertainingly farcical episodes involving his wife – first when he met her Slovakian parents in a scene worthy of the Ben Stiller movies; and the second when he tried to embarrass her while watching the DVD of American History X, only for it to backfire hilariously.
He’s a nimble storyteller, with a relaxed, personable style, and the times speeds by. There is something of a shortfall of substance, which can sometimes hinder comics trying to hold the attention for an hour, but here it doesn’t seem much of an issue. Bird simply proves cracking company, whether he’s got an angle or not.
|Date of live review: Tuesday 10th Aug, '10|
Review by Steve Bennett
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