Magnus Betner: Live
For a show billed as being controversial, I honestly expected more controversy. What we actually got, though, was much better: quality gimmick-free standup.
Too often in comedy, ‘controversial’ and ‘political’ actually mean ‘hateful’ and ‘spiteful’. Politics, current affairs, the state of television; most of Betner’s material covers potential shouty-ranty subjects, but he is far more interesting than that. Clearly, he has carefully considered his topics and made informed decisions, which he then makes hilarious. He doesn’t need to be horrible to get a laugh. He's just funny.
Betner is every inch the professional. His comedy is edgy and left-leaning, taking cues from the news stories of the past year. But he’s also got some stuff about being a father, which is brilliant too. He's sharp, and his style is calm and measured, and though some of the material isn’t new, it’s still bloody good. The crowd are not the best tonight, trying to get involved even though it was made clear this wasn’t that kind of show. Betner handles them without any problems.
A great chance to see a genuinely fantastic comedian in an intimate setting. Raise your expectations.