Alfie Brown: Soul for Sale, Underbelly, Edinburgh
Alfie Brown isn’t the only comedian at the Fringe berating his industry for catering to the lowest common denominator, but he may well be the one doing it with the least amount of grace.
During his show the 25-year-old comedian - imagine Stewart Lee’s attitude trapped in Russell Brand’s body - recalls how Ian Coburn, the man who runs the comedy arm of music promoters Live Nation, allegedly told Brown to “be funny, not clever”. It sounds depressingly like something that the mercenary agent character in Trevor Griffiths’ ‘Comedians’ would say, and it’s also a jumping-off point for a joyless example of Brown's uptight ire.
To round off the routine, Brown asks the audience to chant “but you’re not funny” at him when he shouts out “I’m clever” and then explains why this is a paradoxical catchphrase.
Earlier he has rounded up some people to play a Pavlovian pack of dogs, in order to manoeuvre them into a routine on semantics and paedophilia. Brown ultimately turns it on the audience, accusing them of being the thought police. We’re all potentially guilty, apparently.
His intentions here are noble, as they are when he deconstructs the gratuitous lyrics of Rihanna, the vacuous girl power sentiments of Beyonce and the trite filmmaking of Oliver Stone in the case of ‘World Trade Center’, but his delivery of them is coated in arrogance.
Til 26 August, 0844 545 8252
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 100,000 back our campaign
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up