Alfie Brown @ Monkey Barrel

An impressive and thoughtful hour from Alfie Brown

Review by Tony Makos | 15 Aug 2018
  • Alfie Brown

You can’t fault Alfie Brown’s method: ruminating and commenting on a range of issues, reflecting on himself and also the state of the world, using a personal narrative to provide structure for pre-built routines and relevant moments to allow tangential interjections. Any Fringe-goer is familiar with the way this unravels by now and the inevitable emotional ebb and flow that accompanies it. It’s tried, it’s tested: it works. Here, not so much.

Brown’s show Lunatic actually ends up being less than the sum of its parts. Individually, the routines that pepper the storyline discussing parenthood, sex and identity politics are extremely strong. He's an excellent writer with a beautifully skewed yet intellectually justifiable worldview, and it's difficult to not agree with – or consider – his treatises on vegetarianism and mob mentality. However, the attempt to surround this material on all sides and relate it to a story involving a tragic incident at a bus stop has the effect of lessening, not increasing, the impact of his deliberations on the human condition.

Perhaps it was rushed tonight, or maybe key pieces for some reason were missing, but while the structure does the show no favours and regularly distracts from the points he's trying to make, it's not to overlook there's some challenging, thoughtful comedy from an original and regularly impressive mind.

Alfie Brown: Lunatic, Monkey Barrel Comedy Club (Room Two), 2-26 Aug (not 13), 9.30pm, £5/PWYW

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