Will Adamsdale: Borders @ Underbelly

Review by Calum McMillan | 11 Aug 2014

There are probably people who would have you believe that Will Adamsdale's latest show, Borders, is an example of a middle aged man with very little to say talking about very little for a long time. In fact, Borders is incredibly thought provoking show based on the observations of a man who seems relentlessly curious and witty in an incredibly gentle way.

Borders is a mix of intelligent whimsy and charming self depreciation which has the astonishing effect of making a small theatre audience feel like they're sitting in the pub catching up with an old friend. Though Adamsdale would certainly prefer the pub in question not to be a Wetherspoons.  The thoughtful and gentle witticisms of the show are broken up with occasional musical deconstructions of popular songs, including a brief but entirely fascinating exploration of a Bruce Springsteen classic which is enhanced by some subtle, and unusual, light and atmosphere changes.

Adamsdale delivers intelligent comedy without the passive aggressive barbs that so often define alternative comics. The former Perrier Comedy Award winner has masterminded a wonderful show based on an endearing sense of self-awareness, a vague mid-life crisis and a conversation with a belligerent crocodile. There are few hour long one man shows that feel like a discussion, most are self-indulgent monologues. Adamsdale breaks this mould without making any fuss about it.

More importantly than that, he uses this hour to totally reaffirm the importance of moustachioed 80s Austrailian cricket captains on us all – something too few comics are willing to address.

Will Adamsdale: Borders @ Underbelly, 1-10, 12-24 Aug, 6pm, £11