Ian Stone: Embrace The Chaos

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

You have to wonder quite why Ian Stone's come to Edinburgh. He's well known as a decent circuit comedian, so why spend however many thousands of pounds it's taken him to come to the Fringe to prove well, that's he's a decent circuit comedian.

This hour-long show isn't stretching him, nor is it driven by the need to say something that couldn't be said in his normal club sets. It's straightforward, solid but unexciting stand-up ­ and if that's what you fancy, you'd probably be better advised to go to one of the burgeoning number of late-night line ups around the Fringe. At least you're guaranteed variety there.

Usual topics are considered, from bad behaviour in Amsterdam's red light district, to the dubbing of porn, to the war on terror, to fat Americans. It's a checklist of topics you'd expect a comic to cover, rather than anything driven by his own point of view.

Sometimes, his take on these subjects is so common on the circuit, it's barely worth repeating. Singing The Taliban Can to the tune of The Candyman Can, or musing that a Muslim boycott of Danish products is hardly going to dent their sales of bacon and beer, or that Bam was an bleakly ironic name for a town hit by an earthquake (two and half years ago, by the way).

But then into this bland soup of workaday ideas, Stone does sprinkle some wonderful jokes. He's got great lines on George Bush, or the De Menezes shooting or his own Jewish heritage. He flirts with bad taste, with the small audience bristling at even obtuse mentions of rape, the Holocaust or the tsunami, but mostly he gets away with it because he's got a cheeky, self-deprecating charm that puts a more upbeat spin on the dodgier topics ­ and a way of finding a witty punchline that diffuses the tension.

Steve Bennett


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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