COMEDY / Comedy

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The Independent Culture
San Francisco stand-up Will Durst is deeply unfashionable. Raising a sceptical voice from the depths of silicone-enhanced America, he is an ageing baby boomer determined to place politics back on the comedy agenda. His one-man show, Myth America, is aimed at "people who read - or know someone who does''. But knowledge is not necessarily an instrument of power. According to Durst, "If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.'' His America is a "freak show'' populated by corrupt politician s, crazed evangelists, serial killers and remedial terrorists. He teases his way through a tangled knot of unanswerable questions both profound and trivial: Why bother to vote when the American democratic process "seems like swimming towards a hungry sha rk''?Why does macrame have competing trade journals? Even if Durst had the answers, he would feel no need to patronise his audience with simplistic solutions. He is a satirist, equally capable of lampooning both left and right.

In the past he has offered British audiences the respect they deserve by being as suspicious of our government as he is of his own. He may be an example of the feel-bad factor but at least he's angry about it. In his own words, "God has TV and we are his24-hour doofus [idiot] channel." Durst gives us licence to become doofuses with attitude.

Myth America, 23 Jan-11 Feb, Riverside Studios, Hammersmith (081-741 2255)