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Dan Antopolski: Turn Of The Century

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Dan Antopolski has been coming to the Fringe, on and off, for a decade, and rarely does he tinker with the formula. Again he offers silly gags – some inspired, some cheesy – broken up with a few bits of comic business to vary the pace. It’s frequently very funny, often groansome, but while it can be an entertaining performance, it is ultimately too fragmented in style and uneven in quality to warrant must-see status.

There are daft prop gags, surreal imaginings, musical interludes that are witty but don’t really zing, and a brilliant reinterpretation of the Maisy Mouse books, revealing their bleak adult subtext. He won the semi-arbitrary joke of the festival accolade last year, and while he didn’t trouble the charts this time around, this hour features the usual generous serving of tortured, sometimes very obtuse, wordplay, to mixed effect.

He injects a tiny bit of real life in here and there, talking about his two toddler daughters – hence the Maisy obsession – but really, when it comes to shows about nothing, this makes Seinfeld look like an Open University broadcast.

He lets his writing cover all the silliness, and delivers the material with relaxed confidence, but little apparent effort, grinning cheekily when the gags work, and dismissing the clunkers that don’t with a self-deprecatory shrug to let us know that none of this really matters, it’s all just stupid anyway.

And that, essentially, is the main shortcoming; it’s disposable comedy that gives you a brief feelgood hit, but doesn’t really fill you up.

Review date: 25 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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