Mike Shephard: Everything That Happened in the 20th Century Seen Through The Eyes of a Liar

Review by Heather McDaid | 14 Aug 2013
  • Mike Shephard

Few comedies that start with praising Hitler end well, but Mike Shephard's satirical view of the 20th century's historic moments does show promise. Dubbing the failed assassin Nedeljko Čabrinović the biggest loser of all time for his failure to trigger WW1, he clearly demonstrates he can find humour through unique angles.

But while there are truly funny moments, much of the show falters. His chat on the sinking of the Titanic goes on many tangents, but culminates in one cheesy pun. This happens on many occasions, with intelligent sounding spiels ending in an obscure style-twist. His passing comment on the entire feminist movement post-Emily Davidson is met with a stony silence, so much so he appears to backtrack, while his Holocaust material divides the room.

The running gag of equating years to bar bills wears thin, but it shows a clear attempt to link jokes throughout, with Čabrinović reappearing at the show's climax. His comedy covers controversial territory at times, but it's clear Shephard really is capable of making light of some dark periods, with inclusion of Paul McCartney and Wings. If he can find a more fluid style rather than jumping between points, some of the dividing comments may not come off as brash but part of a natural, comedic narrative.

Mike Shephard: Everything That Happened in the 20th Century Seen Through the Eyes of a Liar, The Loft @ The Counting House, 5-25 Aug, 3.15pm, free.