Andrew Doyle's Crash Course in Depravity

As soon as Andrew Doyle came on stage, donning rubber gloves and attempting to do unsightly things to a cuddly toy, I had a feeling things weren't going to go very well. This is a show which explores the weird and weirder world of depravity; however, this theme is merely a decoy, an excuse for Doyle to needlessly explore the crude side of sexual perversion, which in turn produced 'jokes' that were so obvious they barely registered as funny. The sporadic and random nature of his material is too loosely connected to anything, therefore the concentration of the audience was lost instantly.In fairness, Doyle has clearly read up. The show is littered with references to the saucier historical figures, such as Caligula and the Marquis de Sade, but he neglects their full comedic potential and instead merely relies on their reputation to get him a quick and unfulfilled laugh. Doyle's main weakness, though, is his lack of conviction, which is overcompensated for by being overly controversial. In order to pull such shock value off, it is fundamental that you are committed to what you are saying and an audience will follow, but there was a consistent sense of doubt that eradicated any sense of camaraderie between him and us.This is why his many laboured attempts at audience participation were painfully unsuccessful. Interaction is a tricky beast and unless you are 100% confident that you can engage and deliver, it should never be attempted. Sadly Doyle fell into this trap of escaping his material and unfortunately presumed a relationship with the audience that had never been established.Although his comedy is misjudged, the style and format of the show is unconventionally slick for a Fringe stand-up, perhaps owing to the show’s director, Scott Capurro. He is a confident presence and there are glimpses of charm at times; it just seems that his material is meant for a completely different comic. Doyle tests and prods the boundaries of acceptability, but by the end I had learnt nothing about depravity and even less about the art of comedy.

The Blurb

Perrier award winner Scott Capurro directs Andrew Doyle's debut stand-up show. 'One of the funniest, sharpest, cruellest comedians out there. Prepare for all your internal organs to burst with laughter' (Johann Hari, Independent).