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Simon Evans: Fringe Magnet

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Julian Hall

As his promotional material says: ‘old "no eyes" is back’. Indeed it's been seven years since this dry stalwart of the circuit has graced the Fringe. Not a great deal about him has changed since then, though, and luckily this is more of a blessing than a curse.

Though some of his refrains sound very familiar (including his trademark joke about his educated accent and some witheringly dismissive material about Geordies), the 45-year-old is fresh enough to pass muster tonight, with punchlines that always catch you out by coming up on the inside.

In fact, he is quite ambitious about some routines, most notably attacking the advertising campaigns of phone companies, suggesting that corporations are the new orthodoxy and the victims of their ad campaigns – the perceived uncool people – should fight back.

It might sound weighty and it is a routine that moves slightly away from the usual domestic or topical stimulus Evans uses to launch his sly wit. But he manages to make his valid point and get a laugh. His weary, laconic world view fits perfectly with this routine of course, though he steps out of the joke to give more than a comedian's answer.

While some of his cheek, notably that Geordie sections, seems downright unreconstructed you begin to see fairly early on that he is disparaging in an equal opportunities way, a point reinforced at the end when he reads from a guest book of comments about himself.

My own parting comment would be that any uneven moments are forgotten as you succumb to Evans's train of thought, assured that his keen (if tiny) eye will give you a good belly laugh soon enough.

Review date: 18 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Julian Hall

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