Andrew McClelland's Somewhat Ambitious Solution for Making the World a Better Place (In General)
Show type: Melbourne 2007
We can all agree (in general) that the world needs improving. Andrew McClelland, academic (History of Pirates), investigator (Secret Society Show) and happy-go-lucky enthusiast (Mix Tape), is doing something about it. Join in, and become part of the solution
Just after Mark Watson Made The World Substantially Better on Radio 4, on the other side of the world Andrew McClelland comes up with an equally long-winded title and an equally lofty ambition. The world can breathe a sigh of relief, the comedians are here to save the day…
Under his catchall title, McClelland splits his agenda into three topics - racism, politics and religion – which is barely restricting the scope of what he can talk about. His stock-in-trade is not as an astute social commentator, however, but as a daft, childish man full of naïve ideas and misplaced self-satisfaction. There’s nothing he likes more than to drub his fingers on his stomach at the anticipation of another of the world’s problems solved.
It’s part of the air he adopts, akin to that of an Edwardian gentleman explorer: sure in his opinions, high-falutin in his speech and delightfully out of pace with today’s world. What better man to solve society’s ills? And, of course, the gulf between the size of the task and his immature approach to it is where the comedy lies.
Yet beneath all his goofing about, McClelland does have something to say on the state of the world. He is the ideal idiot savant.
As a show, this is still rather rickety. A couple of performances in, and he’s still referring to notes, and the structure leads to at least two separate big-gesture conclusions, which is messy.
But such gripes are relatively inconsequential, as it’s still a pleasure to spend an hour in McClelland’s daft company. The show is more straight stand-up and less well-structured concept than his previous offerings, which gives him the freedom to talk about anything that takes his fancy: from foppish Nazis, a tour-de-force routine about the joys of lactating, or the various species of whale. This last one, bizarrely, is the main strand in the ‘politics’ section of his triptych.
It may need a bit of a tidy-up, but this show is another slice of riotous fun from McClelland. The very fact this hour exists makes the world a better place (in general), so viva la McClelland revolution!
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Melbourne, April 2007
Date of review: Apr 2007