Andrew Doyle: Whatever It Takes

Doyle is certainly not a comedian to shy away from controversial matters. His fearless attack on material such as paedophilia, incest and Catholicism (no connection intended) certainly takes no prisoners. In fact, there were a few moments where Doyle himself asked the audience if certain jokes were a bit too far. When the jokes are that funny he gets away with it. Half of the laughs come from the shock of what he has just said. This is certainly a comedian not afraid of taking a few risks and certainly ready to step on a few toes.

Doyle’s best targets are popular culture; this is a man clearly sick of Gok Wan, Gary Barlow and the X-Factor. It may not be the most original material for a comedian’s set-list but it’s deliciously bitchy satire. I would say Doyle plays best for his gay audience; his persona is not quite a raging queen but he plays off the pissed off homosexual routine well and his hitting on guys in the audience is highly amusing. I wouldn’t say it’s solely for gay audiences (although I did see some straight members of the audience struggling to play along) but it’s definitely humour aimed around the life of gay men. Meanwhile his tales of being a gay teacher provide some thoroughly outrageous material.

Less successful within the set is Doyle’s take on improvisation; it’s long winded and not terribly funny. Doyle attempts to poke fun at his inability to improvise but it’s a rather sloppy outcome. Doyle is much funnier when he actually is improvising with his audience rather than trying to make a joke of the technique. It’s a bit of a damp squib of an ending to what has been one of the funniest stand-ups I’ve seen at the festival this year.

Reviews by Stewart McLaren

Online at www.DavidLeddy.com (with Traverse Theatre)

City Of the Blind

★★★
Northern Stage at King's Hall

Milk Presents: Self Service

★★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Haggis Haggis Haggis

★★★
Institut français d'Ecosse

Antiquithon

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

RIVERRUN

★★

The Blurb

‘Britain's hottest young comedian' (GQ Magazine) returns to Edinburgh following his 2011 sell-out show. 'One of the funniest, sharpest, cruellest comedians out there' (Independent). 'Excellent one-liners' (Times). 'Fierce stand-up comedy ... fantastic' (Metro).