Andy Zaltzman, The Stand, Edinburgh
Tuesday 12 August 2008
Andy Zaltzman loves making football analogies for political situations: he reckons the poor of the world have had "a terrible last seven millennia", and that they've made some grave errors and let in a few own goals in the past.
If Zaltzman is a master of analogy, he's also a dab hand at the metaphor and simile too (politicians are like God because no one believes in them, they haven't done anything for ages and they give jobs to their immediate family).
It's a shame, then, that this show – Andy Zaltzman Boldly Unbuttons the Cloak of Civilisation, But is Perplexed and Perturbed About What He Finds Lurking Beneath – ends up a score draw rather than a thrilling win, partly because of the 3pm kickoff. This show really is a game of two halves.
The first half is a rich seam of satire: if Britons were left to tax themselves, Zaltzman contends, "there would be no schools, no hospitals, just a 500-mile high statue of Princess Diana". After the interval, Zaltzman returns wearing a velvet evening jacket to present a series of awards for world ills, such as the Golden Elephant Award for Fantastic Democracy, for which the nominees are Robert Mugabe, Than Shwe and the Romanian residents of Voinesti, who re-elected their dead mayor in June.
The mock awards seem great on paper but are not as effective as the first half.
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