Andrew Maxwell: Supernatural, The Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Festival

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The Independent Culture

Andrew Maxwell's idea of introductory banter is to go straight for the jugular: "Any Scottish Nats in? Independence is a great idea, just not entirely economically thought-through." Of his homeland, Ireland, he describes the no vote in the EU reform referendum with tongue firmly planted in cheek: "You can drag us out of being a Third World country but that won't make us love you!"

Having set a thoughtful but rambunctious tone, he sets about relaying some short vignettes, including one about Ryanair, an entirely personal tale about how the tiny bottles of alcohol sold on the planes ensure his smooth passage through customs.

The bulk of the show is dedicated to explaining how the comic honoured his booking to do gigs on both the Falls Road and the Shankhill Road in Belfast. He invokes wisdom from Lloyd George as well as the advice of the community activists he speaks to on both sides, and at one stage he worries: "What if I die [on stage] at both gigs and I start the war again?"

Maxwell's skill is to get people to buy in to his enthusiasm for, and bravado regarding, all the scrapes that he gets into, and to feel that they have been part of the journey. If he can convince former enemies to believe him, then even the sternest Fringe audience could pose no threat.

To 25 August (0131 556 6550)

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