Paul Duncan McGarrity – Ask an Archaeologist

In Paul Duncan McGarrity’s eighth show at the Fringe, Ask An Archaeologist, interesting and funny are blended to create a must see stand-up at the heart of the Free Fringe Festival.

A more pleasant way to pass an hour could scarcely be found.

Sitting in a cosy room in the Cabaret Voltaire, McGarrity creates an environment different to most stand up shows. Everyone who arrives is greeted, and McGarrity too takes a seat, making it feel more like a little chat over a coffee rather than a stand up gig. The material of the show lends itself well to this atmosphere and the interaction with the audience is eased by the casual mood. McGarrity’s show is pretty well named – jokes are thrown out at pace, with almost no break in the laughter – but otherwise it’s a really interesting conversation between the audience and him about archaeology.

McGarrity tells us that he always gets asked the same, often stupid, questions and then invites us to ask him some. Some brave souls ventured a query or two and a dialogue was opened, chock full of laughs but also some very interesting observations and facts about archaeology. As a history grad it very much appealed to the hidden ye olde’ times geek inside me.

I couldn’t help just really liking this guy, his style and everything he had to say. Unlike a few comedians, every time he strayed into the taboo it felt justified and genuinely funny, rather than just for the sake of being offensive. The hour seemed to fly-by and I felt myself really wanting to stay and hear more. McGarrity’s show relies on audience interaction, so it’s no shock he’s a master at handling it and every riff with an audience member, for example the woman knitting in the far corner, was hilarious and clever in equal measure.

A more pleasant way to pass an hour could scarcely be found. Head to Ask an Archaeologist tomorrow to learn something and have a laugh while doing it.

Reviews by Millie Bayswater

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The Blurb

An experiment. An archaeologist sits in a room and answers your questions on any subject as honestly as possible. Could be rude, probably crude. Be prepared to talk candidly with the protection of context. 'Like a very tall, funny, excited child' (Scotsman). Photo credit comedysnapshot.