Scott Agnew @ Gilded Balloon, Counting House

Four years since his last Fringe show, Scott Agnew returns to Edinburgh with an excellent hour

Review by Jennifer McKiernan | 10 Aug 2016
  • Scott Agnew

Depraved and hilarious tales of the underground gay scene in Glasgow and London make up a satisfying chunk of I've Snapped My Banjo String, Let's Just Talk. Whereas many comics cultivate an absurdly dysfunctional persona, Agnew's shame-filled accounts have a brutality which, coupled with a stage presence swinging between charm and nervousness, is unnervingly authentic.

Bouncing from one drug and booze-fuelled disaster to another, he takes us to places few people would willingly enter. As Agnew tells us of his attempts to extricate himself from his exotic mistakes, he shows a ruthless ability to skewer his own and other people's weakness with surgical precision. Details of his sexual escapades, including a novel use for a St Andrew's cross and a fish tank, keep the atmosphere excruciatingly tense, which lets his down-to-earth frankness amplify the relief as the punchline hits. A revelation over tea and madeira cake with his grandfather drags up coal-black laughs with its searing honesty. It's this blazing political anger, carefully hidden within the hedonism, which elevates the show above voyeurism.

Scott Agnew: I've Snapped My Banjo String, Let's Just Talk, Gilded Balloon at the Counting House (Sitting Room) 3-29 Aug, 10pm, £5/PWYW http://www.edfringe.com