Abie Philbin Bowlman’s onstage charisma, a flurry of nervous energy, animated hand gestures and Irish charm, makes him an immensely likable comedian. However, The Revolution Will Be Re-tweeted simply lacked enough big laughs to be truly recommendable, even in spite of some enjoyable moments.
He’s definitely at the milder end of the comedic scale – encouraging the crowd to fill the seats at the front because he’s not the type to pick on the audience, for example, or enthusiastically going out of his way to label himself a geek. His comedy was very intelligent, perusing current affairs and referencing moments and figures from history. At the show’s peaks, Bowlman’s strength was enthusiastically reeling off genuinely interesting trivia and historical facts alongside humorous observations – if you want to know how Superman genuinely had a hand in the downfall of the KKK; why the Pope is clearly a Bond villain; and why it’s always useful to compare yourself to a gay Kurdistani jew living in Iran, for example, then you might just find reason to check this out.
But whilst all of this was gently amusing, often interesting and occasionally poignant (especially Bowlman’s closing piece about the sincere benefits of imagining that you’re already dead), the hour-long show couldn’t help but feel like it lacked the necessary bite and big laughs to keep it flowing and ultimately make the show memorable.
There are certainly worse ways to spend an hour and comedians much less deserving of your time, but with so much comedy to choose from on the Fringe, it’s hard to put this show at the top of any ‘must-see’ lists.