Ian Fox: The Butterfly Effect

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

This is an excellent debut show from Manchester comic Ian Fox.
Tucked away at the Meadows Bar; it would not be out of place
at one of the swankier venues. His quick delivery engages your
attention from the off and he obviously has a great ear for the
rhythm of natural speech. There's something very satisfying about
having ASBO, EBay and ER all in the same sentence.

As with many catchwords, we all think we know what the Butterfly
Effect is, but his various analogies for it help fix if firmly
in the mind. (It demonstrates a chain reaction which leads from
a trivial incident to a massive result, by tiny knock-on effects)
and the story of its discovery by Edward Lorenz is fascinating
and relevant and,in Fox's hands, very amusing.

The facts and the science in the first section are interspersed
with some excellent lines and ideas, seamlessly blending natural
club comedy with higher intent ­ there's plenty to think
about here.

The middle section of the show places psychic prediction under
scrutiny. (Yes, it is all bollocks). Illustrated with fascinating
examples, one cites an uncanny coincidence in a Daily Telegraph
crossword and a sinking ship. He touches on phobias and fetishes
and leads us into the final section of the show. He warns us
that this is essentially a lengthy piece of storytelling from
which he can't pull out if we're not going with it. There's no
danger of that as he's already successfully hooked your attention
with his intelligent work and relaxed wit. The pace does slow,
but it's not a problem.

This is good use of an afternoon slot, performed without gimmicky
technology, if only because Ian Fox has had his own run in with
the butterfly effect. The show succeeds admirably in being smart,
funny and entertaining without a whiff of smugness.

Julia Chamberlain


Review date: 1 Jan 2011
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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