Simon Evans

Note: This review is from 2003

Review by Steve Bennett

Immaculately dressed in sharp suit and tie, Evans is a man who likes everything to be 'just so', and as such feels he should set out some ground rules out before we start. Paramount among them is 'no whooping', an overexuberant outburst this laconic stand-up feels has no place in comedy.

Not that you would get any such emotion from him as he stands, rigidly rooted to the spot for the entire hour, using not so much as an accent or gesture to make his points.

Such minimal performance means the writing has to stand on its own terms, and mostly it does, thanks to Evans's wry turn of phrase and incisive angle.

Drier than the Kalahari, he employs the classic aloof, disdainful posture that's becoming increasingly prevalent among his contemporaries. Looking down his cultured nose at anything he considers inferior - which doesn't exclude much - he delights in sneering at their shortcomings.

His hates have an irrationality and vengeance that would do a Nazi proud, ranging from children to evergreen trees (though deciduous ones are all right). And he's not shy of expressing it.

But with no narrative or big personality to drive things along, the show can seem a little unsatisfying as a whole. And a political angle introduced late in his set - which reveals Evans is neither as right-wing nor middle-class as his outward appearance may suggest - is opinionated and well-put, but lacking the necessary jokes.

Evans is one of the better gimmick-free stand-ups at the Fringe, but there's something missing that would elevate this show into a must-see, rather than being simply a fine craftsman plying his trade.

Review date: 1 Jan 2003
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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