Andy Field: Ideas (,) Man | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Andy Field: Ideas (,) Man

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Andy Field has no issue with those who have called him immature and puerile. ‘I think those are positive words,’ he asserts… and after 60 minutes in his daft company, you’re left in no doubt about that. He’s a very silly billy.

He starts Ideas(,) Man in the spirit he intends to continue, with a needlessly overelaborate piece of crowd work to set up a fine routine inventively deconstructing The Exorcist’s most famous line

Other material is much dumber, from prop work to a penchant for agonising wordplay, to conjuring up some absurd image or other. He seems to enjoy some of these flimsier gags more than the audience, but he sells them hard, and probably for a little too long, to try to win them over with the power of his belief – and to some success.

Despite how juvenile much of this content is, Field presents it in a relatively restrained way, preserving most the wackiness for some inept on-stage parkour, a little surprise caper, and a cartoonish finale that definitely requires he commit to the bit, and quite some suffering for his art. You will never hear Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn in quite the same way again.

The comic offers some more traditional stand-up too, from hallucinating in Tesco to the time he doubled down on his ludicrous whimsy to antagonise the audience at the uber-posh Henley Festival who turned on him. It’s not the funniest story but indicates his determination to push through with his sense of humour, whatever anyone else thinks.

Field also has a worrying track record of shitting his pants, and the incident he chooses to share is quite the story of self-inflicted loss of dignity, becoming an abject, pathetic figure by the end. Still, he owns the anecdote now,

Field – who won the Chortle Student Comedy Award back in 2015 – opens the show by saying he’s been concentrating on perfecting his craft over promoting himself over the years, which means he has achieved ’a very high level of comedy no one is aware of.’

That’s ‘high’ rather than ‘highbrow’ of course, and you may have to indulge some of the more idiosyncratic silliness which seems more for him than a wider audience. His immodesty aside, however, Field has, under the radar, developed quite some skills as a storyteller alongside that innate love of the dumb gag.

Andy Field: Ideas (,) Man is on at Assembly George Square at 9.55pm

Review date: 17 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Assembly George Square

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