Martin White: The Nefarious World Of The Royal Accordion Society

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

Ever think there just aren’t enough accordions in comedy? If so, Martin White has the perfect show for you.

You mightn’t think it, but the humble squeezebox has had a profound effect on the human race. From the Aztecs to September 11, the accordion has featured in just about every key event in history. It truly is the Zelig of the musical world.

Mild-mannered White has delved into the instrument’s folklore to expose its sinister influence in the Nuremburg rallies, the death of Princess Diana and the assassination of JFK. Just take a look at that Zapruder film again. And again. And again. Who is that shadowy figure by the grassy knoll? An accordionist?

White has gone to great efforts to prove his conspiracy theories, digging out incriminating images of this unlikely instrument of destruction and grafting away at his 3D modelling software to produce the animations that prove his point.

This is, essentially a one-joke show, and even over a work-in-progress 40 minutes, does get a tad predictable. But the audacity of the claims and the extravagance of the proof never entirely loses its appeal, while deadpan White always strives to make a convincing case.

The paranoid theories are interspersed with a trio of broodingly melodramatic songs – on squeezebox, naturally – such as the sinister folk tale of the demonic accordion of old Croydon town. Alongside White’s unwavering conviction, it goes to create a compelling climate of suspicion. Not, perhaps, a riot of laughs, but a wryly whimisical contribution to the comedy festival.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Leicester Comedy Festival, February 2009

Review date: 1 Jan 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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