Dan Antopolski @ Assembly George Square

Antopolski's return is at times dazzling, but overall offers a mixed show

Review by Jennifer McKiernan | 07 Aug 2017
  • Dan Antopolski

Nothing beats the high of outwitting a child, as amply demonstrated by Dan Antopolski's stunning verbal fireworks with his daughter. The sparring with the Wednesday Addams-a-like hits the spot several times and highlights his impressive vocabulary, much like being read a bedtime story by Orson Welles.

Being a dad and appearing as a children's TV presenter also gives him scope to mine a dark seam of anxiety about paedophilia. Jimmy Savile jokes can seem tired, but these were funny. There are acrobatics in this show, although they are hypothetical. Not everybody can get a laugh from explaining why they couldn't do anything more impressive.

All this would suggest he’d be able to make light of his split from his wife, but no. Clearly still bitter, the spite and revenge sex ruins the laughs. The same is true of his grating assumption everyone at his Edinburgh gig is from London and able to understand his references to tube stations and slightly smug nods to canapes. He was also oddly unsure of his stance on Brexit and seemed to abandon a couple of jokes halfway through, possibly deciding the room wasn't with him.

For all its flaws though, when Antopolski is sure of himself and of what he wants to say, he soars. 

Dan Antopolski: Return of the Dan Antopolski, Assembly George Square (Studio 5), 2-27 Aug, 9.15pm, £9-£12 http://www.assemblyfestival.com