Benjamin Alborough: Absolute Monopoly | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Benjamin Alborough: Absolute Monopoly

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

A rising star on the more alternative end of the spectrum, Benjamin Alborough brings his anarchic debut to the Fringe, a Shooting Stars-style surrealist gameshow. 

Alborough is especially interested in the space between audience and performer where that interaction changes the shape of the show. To that end, each night he attempts to recreate and improve upon the world’s most successful board game, Monopoly, with himself as ringmaster and two volunteer contestants from the audience.

The result is a chaotic chain of events that doesn’t hold much in common with the board game but is far more riotously entertaining.

The engine of the game is a series of hundreds of randomised cards, only a few of which will be played each night. These cards can permanently alter the conditions of the game in unexpected ways, but there’s also a further element of variation when the audience has the opportunity to suggest new rules for the performance.

Absolute Monopoly isn’t even Alborough’s first alternative gameshow. In  Terry Wogan Screams – created with Sean Morley – he played the titular national treasure, escaped from hell for one night only.

Either he wasn’t too far away from Wogan to begin with, or the spirit of Wogan has left something of itself in Alborough’s soul, because he makes a brilliant light entertainment host. 

You might expect this audience participation to be a hesitant process, but audience reticence is no match for his ability to get his crowd into the spirit of  things and get them acting as a democratic (if still highly disorderly) unit.

Review date: 19 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Tim Harding
Reviewed at: Assembly George Square

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