Kevin Shepherd: Confess Nothing - Free

In the past Kevin Shepherd has apparently used his Fringe shows as a kind of confessional, finding thoughtful humour in his past social and legal misdemeanours. This year, though, he's had enough of that; instead, he's out to share and discuss opinions. Mostly his own opinions, of course; that said, he's not one to miss out on the comic potential from audience members and their reactions (or lack thereof) to what he has to say.

Shepherd's first opinion is probably as overtly 'political' as he gets; by suggesting that people's opinions are not actually worth that much- after all, thousands of people marched through London and in other cities across the UK opposing British forces going into Iraq, and yet all those opinions were simply ignored by one man, just because he happened to be Prime Minister. So, in the greater scheme of things, Shepherd suggests, the only real value in opinions is how they can provide a means of judging whether anyone you meet could be a friend. Or not, as the case might be.

Not all opinions are the same, however; Shepherd breaks them down into three scales. There are the large opinions; about love, religion, race. There are the medium opinions, such as his own dislike of 'amateur drunks' and the cathartic violence of taking a sledgehammer to an old garden shed riddled with dry rot; and then there are the small opinions which, ironically enough, are probably the most important, as they're about the tiny, nitty-gritty of everyday life shared across race and creed. Of course, each 'layer' of opinion is the starting point for Shepherd to launch into a humorous routine, but he's not against riffing of a few selected audience members for added results.

Shepherd is an open and honest performer, though he can be thrown slightly off target by, for example, people at the back of the room rather noisily (and insensitively) selecting their next Fringe experience. That said, Shepherd's greatest skill is creating visuals, using just a few apt words or a telling phrase to place some rather unsettling images in his audience's minds. And that's my opinion on the matter.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Multiple Venues

Nests

★★★
Dundee Rep Theatre / Macrobert Arts Centre

The Yellow on the Broom

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Police Cops in Space

★★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Rik Carranza: Still a Fan

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Marmite

★★★★

Performances

The Blurb

The Edinburgh Fringe has traditionally been Kevin's confession booth. This year he aims to stay out of trouble and finally express an opinion. 'It’s raw honesty, and it’s refreshing' **** (one4review.wordpress.com). www.kevinshepherd.com, @shepherdkevin.