Underbelly, Bristo Square
Edinburgh 2013: John Lloyd's The Liff of QI does exactly what it says on the tin
The comedy producer and QI founder John Lloyd does exactly what he sets out to do with this show - at least according to the blurb on his flyer: to take the audience on a journey via The Meaning of Liff (the spoof lexicon he co-wrote with Douglas Adams) and his constant search for quite interesting facts.
Nonetheless, this after dinner-style show, delivered by a charming, and initially rather nervous, Lloyd, stops at many junctions and the narrative promises more than it delivers.
The witty examples lifted from Liff and QI (read, like several other components of the show, from notes placed on a lectern) are as amusing as ever and he binds them with some colourful anecdotes from his own career. But Lloyd's story is erratically told. We lurch into Not the Nine O'Clock News without him even mentioning the show by name. A little later QI's debunking of sheep's eyes as an Arabic delicacy drops in as if from outer space. Meanwhile, Blackadder fans could be forgiven for feeling a little shortchanged on anecdotes, though, in fairness, this ground has been covered aleadly by TV specials.
Although the balance across Lloyd's seminal CV is skewed, Spitting Image gets a generous airing and the tale of how Norman Tebbit's taste in fashion was radically altered by the satirical TV programme is one of a number of superb curios in this bric-a-brac collection.
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