When Holidays Attack

Given the importance many people put on their annual holiday — the glittering gift to themselves for enduring the hard slog of everyday life for the rest of the year — there’s certainly potential in a show about when things go spectacularly or embarrassingly wrong. So, it’s a shame when you leave this kind of show with a sense of ennui mirrored by the sudden heavy rain pouring down outside the venue.

In theory, When Holidays Attack certainly has potential; four, interlinked narratives based on Andrew Cox’s own experiences of travelling the world, and the mistakes he made from which he hopes his audience will learn important lessons: to plan the trip from the airport to the hotel with precision; to choose the hotel with care; to not pick up mysterious objects in the bedroom without switching the light on first; and to always check the weather before heading out on a long trek. All quite sensible advice, but it wasn’t really the basis for an hour-long spoken word show.

Cox was born in the US, spent his first seven years in Scotland -inheriting a love of talking, he said - then moved to Australia, subsequently gaining that nation’s well-known tradition for wanderlust which has since seen him - and his wife - visit more than 40 countries around the globe. Whether these are actual ‘holidays’ is a moot point he doesn’t answer, as we’re given no idea of what his actual ‘day job’ is.

As a seasoned traveller, Cox clearly speaks with genuine experience — and had some fun with the rest of the world’s apparent reliance on globe-trotting Australians as their ‘canary in the mine’ when it comes to deciding if some foreign locale is worth visiting or not. However, while Cox is a fine enough writer, on the evidence of this show he’s neither a stand-up comedian nor a particularly gifted raconteur; while his stories certainly have a clearly defined emotional narrative at their core, it’s ill-served by Cox’s own level of delivery, which all too often lacks the emotional punch his stories deserve.

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

★★★★

The Blurb

Andrew Cox recounts amusing, dramatic and true travel stories from his adventures in seven continents. Learn from his biggest mistakes so the next time you travel, you won’t need to wear yesterday's underpants – again. www.andrewcox.co.