Hate 'n' Live
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.