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Alistair Barrie: Choice

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

Alistair Barrie is about as close to the stereotypical middle-class wet liberal as you can get: the son of two doctors from the Isle of Wight, he now lives in trendy Islington, the bleeding heartland of soft-left politics.

So it comes as little surprise that when he tackles topical matters, his views are torn from the leader pages of The Guardian.

His opinions may be received, but that's not to say he doesn't believe in them, and he makes an eloquent case on all the usual topics ­ by which I mean Iraq and George Dubya, obviously.

He's well-informed on the issues, and while the topics are the sort of thing any comic with the slightest of political bents will be covering, he does it with a certain relaxed style.

The material is smartly written and delivered with a natural, unpretentious matey manner that ensure it never seems like he's preaching ­ especially important since the audience are most likely already converted.

"I'm not a very good ranter," he admits at the top of the show, but that works to his advantage as he vocalises his concerns with a restraint that makes them more credible.

In some ways, Barrie has American-style approach to political stand-up, in that the points he raises my not be all that penetrating, especially for those reasonably conversant with current affairs, but he simply has a good way of putting it, without pretending to be something he isn't.

Review date: 1 Jan 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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