There's more than a touch of Stewart Lee when it comes to Andrew Doyle's comedic concerns. On the face of it, the main thing that the former teacher's doing in
An entertaining and postmodern exploration of the art of humour.
Doyle adopts the pose of a misanthropic outsider and isn't shy about expressing unpopular opinions. There's some good material in the shape of a clutch outre remarks about heterosexuality, homosexuality and identity politics. One of the set's highlights is an entertaining, and educational, overview of the many and varied ways in which some gay men choose to categorise themselves.
His delivery is rapid-fire and he quickly switches between a random assortment of subjects. But two topics that Doyle repeatedly circles back to are the none-too-obvious similarities between himself and Gandhi, and a meandering description of a dire gig at the Gibraltar Fringe. Neither of these really hit the mark. The first is odd and unfunny, and the second is delivered in unsatisfying little chunks (and it's hard to see the purpose it serves apart from enabling a clunky transition to a routine about racism).
Haters of audience participation beware! Interaction forms the backbone of this show. Doyle banters, poses questions to and makes small talk with the game and good-natured crowd. There's even a twenty first century take on this comedy mainstay - an intriguing invitation to text him with queries.
Doyle is steadfastly nobrow. He chucks some in Latin among his pop culture references, and is the author of impeccably-crafted turns of phrases like, “the commodification of the self” – his pleasingly accurate description of Facebook.
This ambitious and fiercely intelligent show is not about a never-ending succession of belly laughs. It's an entertaining and postmodern exploration of the art of humour.