Comedians deconstructing their own art is commonplace at the Fringe, but rarely is this tic be treated to such an elaborate exploration. Alex Horne's latest show comes with no PowerPoint presentations this time ("I'm good at them, but now everyone else is doing them I am not allowed"), but the multimedia maestro still has a gimmick: he uses audiobooks as cast members in a homage to fabrication.
The celebration starts with a protest about how much Horne hates doing stand-up. He doth protest too much, of course, and he gradually undermines this assertion with yarns that he enjoys admitting are untrue. His glee is best illustrated by his "maximum reduction" approach to reading a novel in preparation for Radio 4's 'A Good Read': he doesn't read it, he wings it.
Meanwhile, the voice of Michael Caine, and subsequently of Andre Agassi and Cherie Blair 'join' Horne and a pre-recorded Horne on stage to converse with him, picking over Horne's lies while being mischievously spliced to create myths of their own.
Throughout all of this tomfoolery, Horne is telegraphing to us that being economic with the truth is the best part of his job as a stand-up. In doing so, he is effectively re-telling one joke, a risky strategy that slightly gets lost in its own neurosis at the same time as bathing in brilliance.
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