Austerity Pleasures

‘Life is too important to be taken seriously’ Oscar Wilde said. His picture looks down from the wall onto the audience as Austerity Pleasures begins. The show is an enjoyable lunchtime buffet of nicely rounded socio-political material, although the comics admit that they don’t target Ed Miliband because he’s ‘too boring’.

Declan Kennedy is the warm-up for the proceedings, looking like a geography teacher on a field trip. If only geography teachers were this funny in real life, we’d be sitting in for extra lessons on oxbow lakes and the tundra. Declaring, ‘I hate being human, I’d rather be a kettle’, he casts his quirky eye on a wide range of topics including wheelie bins in Narnia, teenage mums, Gremlins, Jeremy Clarkson and dolphins. It’s mad and good.

Next up, Ben Morgan offers energetic punadulterated wordplay and canny topical observations. His term ‘meanderthal’ – to describe the gormless generation who roam the streets glued to their phones with all sense of spatial awareness and sense of urgency disengaged – gets titters of recognition from all. He also bemoans feminists calling for a ban on Page Three for reasons you wouldn’t think and takes shots at easy targets like the EU referendum, George Osborne, American politics and ‘Broken Britain’s Got Talent’. He often dips into an envelope of ‘emergency jokes’ when he feels things aren’t going to plan. One criticism though, is that there’s no need to keep telling the audience he’s not a professional comedian. They like him anyway.

Alex Chapman is the more reserved of the bunch and although his dry analysis on issues of the moment is astute, interesting and worthy it’s maybe a little too low-key for the middle-of-the-day audience.

Morgan and Chapman are likeable lads, whatever your politics, who elicit laughs and groans in equal measure. Life IS too important to be taken seriously and Morgan and Chapman certainly ridicule the weighty topics they address.

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Performances

The Blurb

With a triple-dip recession looming Alex Chapman and Ben Morgan return to the Fringe for a second year with Austerity Pleasures, a free stand-up show focusing on politics, social issues and leader lampooning. No show on Sundays.

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