Andrew Maxwell: Showtime

When a comedian comes on clutching notes you would expect that you were about to watch something that was underdeveloped and in need of refinement. Notes aside, this wasn't what you got once Maxwell had finished sashaying around the stage to his entrance music.

His latest show explores a number of themes, but Brexit is very much at the heart of it.

He delivers a confident performance (as you'd expect from someone who is at his 22nd Fringe) barely distracted by his notes. The same can't be said of the audience, who despite the usual reminders before the start, do their best to throw the comic. Someone's phone goes off and ruins a moment that he was building up to in the early part of the routine, Maxwell carries on manfully, but the momentum was lost a little through no fault of his own.

In fact, it was a night of interruptions. Twice we heard what sounded like a baby noise. Surely that must have been a ringtone? There was also the poshest sneeze which was timed just as Maxwell was building to his big finish. Although annoying for the performer he reacts to these interruptions with good grace and makes light of them.

The opening sees him dispense with the mic and try to deliver his set to one of the larger rooms at the Fringe. You worry that his voice is not going to last the evening, let alone the three weeks of the festival. We didn't have to be concerned for too long, as it was all leading up to a visual gag that needed the full use of his hands. It certainly was a big way to respond to a question that he gets asked a lot on Twitter.

When he gets behind the mic his delivery is a mixture of parading around the stage and sedentary segments. He is seated when he delivers the more thought provoking moments of the show, of which there are many. While seated he evokes memories of that other Irish comedian Dave Allen, though Maxwell's drink looks like water and not Allen's trademark tipple.

His latest show explores a number of themes, but Brexit is very much at the heart of it. The comedian gets the inevitable Trump joke out of the way early on and his routine is more a personal take on the the after effects of Brexit.

He’s recently moved out of London, away from the 'liberal metropolitan remoaners', to Kent where he is now surrounded by Daily Mail readers that voted vehemently to leave. His new neighbours certainly sound ripe for lampooning.

Where he lives and its proximity to Europe make his observations all the more precise. He's very much a europhile and a confirmed remainer too. This is not just because he believes that the French and Germans are good for comedy. His observations about the two countries are funny, but he strays into familiar stereotypes here. Although, having lived in Germany, he can speak from experience about the aspect of their character that he is sending up.

He eventually talks about Theresa May and his analogy for the Conservative’s hollow General Election victory is an apposite summation of the result.

He has an obvious love for his family and this is confirmed by his anger at a number of horrific events that have happened lately. When talking about his family we see a gentler side to his comedy, when he reveals that he has just became a father for the third time and that he has children born in three decades, that makes you feel for his concerns about the world.

Reviews by Paul Clark

Assembly George Square Theatre

Andrew Maxwell: Showtime

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Angela Barnes: Fortitude

★★★★
New Town Theatre

Dickless

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 5 & 6

Phill Jupitus: Achtung!/Acting!

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus Up the Stand

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Lucy Porter: Choose Your Battles

★★★★

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Performances

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The Blurb

This will be Andrew's 22nd Edinburgh Fringe show! He just loves Edinburgh, also he's been on the telebox a lot, he's Irish, adorable and blooming damn funny! What more do you want? Book now!

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