Simon Amstell: Do Nothing

Article by Becca Pottinger | 22 Aug 2009

Amstell’s live show is a far cry from the taunting wit that pervades his television persona. A self-deprecating, intimate set mines the human condition for all its worth, making some brilliantly nuanced comedy out of the most tragic of existential quandaries. Through a roll of stories about his inability to find love and the perpetual anguish inherent in the curse of an extra bathroom sink, he details what he deems to be, the source of everyone’s misery: the inability to live in the present.

The philosophical clout of his material would sink more than a few stand-ups, but he floats on through, keeping the audience with him at (almost) every turn. Relaying a night spent pointlessly running up the Champs-Élysées, he explains the way the present is so often rendered meaningful through it’s immediate relation to the past; “this seems like a stupid thing to be doing, but it’ll make a nice memory”. Amstell urges us to live in the moment, to find joy in the now. Where is the fun? he asks. Is it here? Is it now? It’s definitely in the Bongo Club until the 30th.