Will Gompertz: Double Art History – The Sequel

Will Gompertz feels like an old friend, not because I have ever met him, but because I have grown up with his inciteful and interesting contributions as the BBC’s arts editor. You can only imagine my excitement when I attended his Fringe show this year. I was disappointed when entered Ermintrude studio, however, to see that exam papers littered the lecture hall, the very room in which I have history lectures. There would be no insider quips about Gompertz’s life in the art world in this show, this was an hour long lecture about modern art.

Gompertz is a natural performer and a brilliant teacher.

Double Art History: The Sequel is billed as an impromptu lecture and it could not be a more fitting location. I was, I’ll admit, hoping for more from Gompertz than history, but that was my own mistake because what I got in the end was just as inciteful and interesting as Gompertz’s BBC appearances.

The show is full to bursting with modern art history facts, as Gompertz walks his audience through Impressionism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Dadaism and conceptual art. He explains how the urinal is the symbol of modern art and why Emin’s unmade bed is worth millions and yours just needs to be made. Well known examples from Monet to Manet are projected on a quirky PowerPoint, which assists Gompertz narrative throughout. There is even an exam at the end to ensure we’re all motivated to learn. Less known examples of art, such as the work of African American artist Theaster Gates mean that even those well versed in the art world will leave with a fresh perspective.

Even if you attended Gompertz show already full of art history knowledge, he is a brilliant entertainer. Indeed, this is the much awaited sequel to Gompertz Fringe show from ten years ago and one can see why he is back. Moments of audience interaction provide ample humour and, although he’s our teacher, there’s no danger of being told off by Gompertz friendly demeanour.

Gompertz is somewhat limited by the lecture format and one can only imagine what a more creative concept would have allowed him to do. The show ends with a book signing and Gompertz makes sure we know that if we liked the show, we’ll love the book. Indeed, when he reads an except, his potential as an actor is revealed to great success.

Gompertz exudes the confidence of a well-heeled performer and has the kind of stage presence that I wish my teachers had had more of. He is a natural performer and a brilliant teacher with original insights into the art world that go a long way in explaining why he’s got the dream job of many.

Reviews by Jane Prinsley

Underbelly, Bristo Square

Will Gompertz: Double Art History – The Sequel

Bedlam Theatre

The Female Role Model Project

Assembly George Square Studios

Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice

Venue150 at EICC

Trainspotting Live


Miss AmeriKa

Pleasance Dome

A Womb of One's Own


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

BBC arts editor Will Gompertz returns to Fringe with another humorous lecture about the world of contemporary art. Step into his fun-filled art history lesson as he aims to teach the audience that not all contemporary art is bollocks. Art aficionado or novice, you'll leave having learned a thing or two – but will you pass the end of class test?

Most Popular See More


From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets