Abie Philbin Bowman: Eco Friendly Jihad, The Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival
Monday 18 August 2008
The longer that Bowman's show goes on the less I like it, so it's fortunate that it has started from a position of relative strength. The premise that joining al-Qa'eda to combat climate change provides ever diminishing returns and clunky jokes start to grate. That said, there's a lot of comedic ability on show here.
With a delivery like a more sedate Johnny Ball or Rolf Harris this bearded, sandal-wearing, Irish comedian sits down, [rather than stands up] to deliver his tale of falling for a Bangladeshi muslim radical and embarking with her on a plan to off-set the root cause of environmental catastrophe as they see it – the West.
Bowman demonstrates that his dextrous wit allows him to get quite far down the line before his premise implodes. Ranging across a number of topics before he gets stuck into his main theme, Bowman jokes that he accepts homophobes but wouldn't allow them to adopt, he's not promiscuous but has "a high romantic metabolism" and he assures that the number of suicide bombers is "going down all the time."
But if you do not buy into Bowman's way of emphasising the environment over the war on terror, jokes like al-Qa'eda's terrorism being "bio-degradeable" and "locally sourced" lose their stand-alone quality.
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