Is there any better way to spend an afternoon than sitting in a wood panelled, beautiful, archaic board room, sipping on an array of expensive, high class, tasty beverages from around the globe and learning about a fascinating and shockingly under-reported period of American history? Well, maybe there is for sure, but this has got to rank up there. Whiskey aficionado and encyclopedia John Mark presents 90 minutes of booze based history in which you will be enthralled, excited and by the end, slightly inebriated.
It's easy to be carried away by the novelty of drinking liquor throughout this show. There is no denying it is a massive perk and any show at the Fringe which offers free booze deserves at least three stars. However, it is our presenter and his meticulously researched show that makes this afternoon delight worth seeking out. His knowledge and natural presenting style allow you to slip into a world so often cordoned off by the elite with comfort and ease. He has an air of Stephen Fry in QI about him - it's not that he wants to teach you, he wants to share with you. As a keen whiskey drinker with no knowledge of the history I personally found this show fascinating but even the non whiskey drinker will enjoy the incredulous accounts of the cops and mobs from prohibition USA.
Mark does not possess the panache or grace of the comedians of the Mile, and maybe it’s unfair to compare him to them, but his passion, verve and downright likeability make up for this no end. He is inviting and warm and despite the drinks and picturesque surroundings, there are few better ways to spend an afternoon at the Fringe than in his company.