Liam Withnail @ Heroes, Monkey Barrel

A moving tale of love and moving from Liam Withnail

Review by Stu Black | 14 Aug 2017
  • Liam Withnail

Liam Withnail knows what it’s like to be a fish out of water, having been born in Dagenham before hiking over the border to live up in Scotland. Swapping countries is at the heart of his show with a focus on how hard it’s been for him and his Aussie wife to stay together amid a whirlwind of strange new government rules, paperwork and axe-like deadlines. Withnail is, as he laddishly confesses a couple of times, “completely adorable” and manages to turn his frustration with the system into a solid rom-com that has plenty of jeopardy and a few heart-tickling moments.

But calling his show The Immigration Game does suggest a little more than he ultimately delivers. This isn’t a panoramic look at the bigger issues behind the current obsession with foreign 'swarms' on our shores, as weaponised by UKIP and the Daily Mail. That doesn’t make Withnail’s strife any less significant, but there is a slight sense of solipsism and that he’s missing a trick. No-one wants a lecture, but Withnail might want to think about widening his net a little, especially during the slightly generic preamble he gives while waiting for him to start his story proper.

Liam Withnail: The Immigration Game, Heroes at Monkey Barrel (Basement), until 27 Aug (not 15), 5.20pm, £5/PWYW