Simon Evans @ Assembly George Square

Hardy perennial delivers for his fans, but won't reach others

Review by Stu Black | 10 Aug 2017
  • Simon Evans

Loquacious old codger Simon Evans is clubbable in both senses of the word. He’s spry company when waffling away about the trials of being a middle-aged man in the 21st century. But then underneath that affable surface there’s also a glowering ego which disdains the younger generation and just wants them to pull their bloody socks up.

Both sides of his shtick are clichés you’d associate with a 52 year old Englishman from the home counties, and he’d be a shoo-in if the Beeb decided to resurrect its series of moan-ologues, Grumpy Old Men. But then this is what his more mature audience have come for and there is a chorus of harrumphs whenever Evans dismisses another new-fangled element of modernity as rubbish. A typical example of this is when he holds up two copies of the Guinness Book of World Records, one from the 70s and one from today, and cocks a snoot at the latter essentially for having too many pictures.

The title of Evans’ show is Genius but he doesn’t bother to probe this subject too deeply. He briefly lays into Mensa (of which he was once a member) and regurgitates some hoary Mark Twain quotes – but the disparate bits hardly make up a thesis.

It’s after he has a snifter of brandy at the midway point in the show that he finally gets around to the real topic on his mind: how to make Britain better. And soon we’re deep in Daily Telegraph territory and Evans is going on about the merits of full Brexit and a restoration of the monarchy. While the baby boomers in the crowd are lapping this up, the lack of any satirical bite means he fails to convince the unimpressed millennials that he has a point worth listening to.

Simon Evans: Genius, Assembly George Square (Studio 2), 2-27 Aug (not 14), 8.20pm, £12-£14