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Stewart Lee's Badly Mapped World

Note: This review is from 2000

Review by Steve Bennett

Lee delights in playing 'dare' with his audience.

He frequently slows his routine to give you time to work out the punchline for yourself ­ then still manages to get a laugh with an unexpected inflection in the delivery, or with a sharp follow-up you didn't see coming.

He's also a master of deconstructing his own humour ­ who else would point out that a gag was an example of the comedic technique of reintegration - and makes much of commenting on how the audience does or doesn't react to his material.

All these elements are evident in this show, along with his trademark brand of sarcastic cynicism and his overcritical examination of the trivial.

Encompassing everything from space travel to The Owl and The Pussycat, this routine effortlessly weaves a number of apparently disparate threads together.

However, it has to be said that Badly Mapped World is not Lee at his best, lacking, as it does, some of the heartfelt venom and killer lines that have made him such a success.

Even so, this show still knocks spots off most the others on the fringe, and you shouldn't miss the opportunity to see it.

Review date: 1 Jan 2000
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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