Hate 'n' Live

Hate 'n' Live is a night that revels in a non-PC, outrageous and often obscene approach to comedy. A showcase of stand up comics attempt improvised sets inspired by audience suggestions of the things they hate the most. Late, loud and boisterous, the hour feels more like a wrestling match than a comedy show as each comic or "Gladi-hater" takes to the stage under a ludicrous stage name. Unfortunately many of the acts favoured volume over jokes in a show that descended into barely intelligible shouting early on in proceedings.

You want burning hatred – what is delivered is lukewarm petty jibes.

Regular performers Leo Kearse and Alex Perry put in a valiant effort at keeping the energy of the night going, and hit on a few solid jokes. Sections ranting about paid Fringe venues and slow walkers on the Royal Mile got the audience on side and the improvised element of the show came into it’s own with Edinburgh related anger that felt genuinely fresh in the minds of the performers. However, many of the other subjects of hatred – the Scottish, for example – resulted in the churning out of obviously pre-written set pieces with tenuous relevance to the subject in hand.

Hate as a springboard for comedy can be eloquent, and aggressive jokes told with genuine feeling can be hilarious – just look at Robin Ince and Michael Legge. However compere Darius Davies was keen to steer the audience suggestions towards the taboo, starting the night by listing the more unacceptable topics that had been hated on in the past and constantly prodding the acts towards the shock tactic end of the spectrum. This is fine in theory, but it means the more appalling topics – “smelly vaginas” to take a horrifying example, rely purely on groans of disgust to get the laughs going. A set titled “Why I Hate…” lacks teeth without a genuine feeling behind it. The jokes here are destined to be superficial, as the hate isn’t coming from the performers themselves, and the superficiality means that the laughs can’t sustain. You want burning hatred – what is delivered is lukewarm petty jibes.

Reviews by Jane Thompson

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The Blurb

There's too much love at the Fringe. Come watch your favourite comedians hate on subjects the audience suggests – no matter what they are. You'll love it! Following on from their hit shows of 2013 Darius Davies, Alex Perry (***** BroadwayBaby.com), Leo Kearse (**** Adelaide Fringe) and special guests bring their improvised hate fest to Edinburgh. Ever wanted to hear a comedian hate on airline food? Self-service checkouts? Or Ghandi? Then this is the show for you. Warning: not for the easily offended.