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Andrew Maxwell: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Marissa Burgess

Given the number of stars that usual garnish Andrew Maxwell's posters, and his two previous Edinburgh Comedy Award nominations, there's a certain  expectation when you walk into his show.

Indeed some reviewers this year have left slightly disappointed compared to last year's show – but taken on its own merits this is a great offering; an effortless hour of Maxwell's trademark rhetoric with gags forged through his irreverent, impish world view.

Even his off stage announcement elicits a giggle, 'please welcome to the stage, the out-of-breath comedian because he was upstairs having a piss when he heard the intro music...’

The following set weaves through Scottish independence and its potential repercussions, the anti-Semitism of conspiracy theory and culminates in an argument with a redneck on gay marriage. Somehow Maxwell manages to be passionate in his rhetoric without breaking a sweat - aside from the aforementioned run down the stairs.

There are off-the-wall takes on incisive observations – Northern Ireland is portrayed as the newly independent Scotland's troublesome prodigal son returned to an unsuspecting Alex Salmond – while even the most regular of observations, mundane in anyone else's hands, are lyrical here.

The extra colour is often added by his range of accents and silly voices, one even wanders off on its own for a few minutes becoming a gay Scot called Keith who's cheery about tidying up after parties.

What impressed most last year seems to be his downfall with the critics this year: how quickly he'd turned around an accomplished routine about the riots, happening in England during the Fringe. But this year all of the really big, zeitgeisty stories – the Olympics, the renewed interest in the Royals thanks to the Jubilee, could have been foreseen before the festival.

However long it took him to craft the material, this year's show is as savvy and as smart as ever.

Review date: 25 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess
Reviewed at: Assembly George Square

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