Jay Sodagar Announces World War 3 at the 2011 Brighton Fringe

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

Another difficult Brighton Fringe show to review, thanks to its miniscule audience. This time there were three of us: myself, an effervescent Iranian man who fancied himself as something of a comedian himself and his wife.

So Sodagar wisely abandoned most of his prepared show –not that he had that much say in the matter. It was clear who was calling the shots here, the gregarious economics lecturer with the constant, generous laugh drawn to the venue because he, too, was a Sodagar.

The upshot was a hugely fun....well, not a show, but more like a conversation, which is why its near-impossible to critique. There was definitely more than one person in this monologue.

The banter flowed freely in both directions, and it was something of a gear change whenever the Sodagar on stage switched from chat to material. And the glimpses we did get of the show were not promising – not least of which is a title that needs three exclamation marks to show how funny it is.

It started with an overlong anecdote about shoppng in Ikea with his wife which he lent a significance that this fairly slight bit of observational relationship comedy did not warrant. But the World War III of the title refers to Sodagar's one-man war on everything which makes the world bad – but the snippets he gave were rather simplistic, as were his questions to the audience. 'Who's to blame for the state of things,' he asks. 'Is it the politicians the bankers or general selfishness.' Well, it's a complex inter-related situation - can't you ask us 'who's in from Brighton' instead?

So probably for the best he abandoned the script for a chat; and jolly enjoyable it was too. But it wasn't a show - let alone *the* show. For that, another time.

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Published: 1 Jun 2011

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