Liam Williams, The Cellar Monkey, review: ‘An intelligent, funny and densely layered show’
Edinburgh Festival 2014: The comedian returns to the line-up once again
There’s something compellingly contradictory about Liam Williams.
On the one hand, the 26-year old is a cynical observer of his peers, an old soul who scowls around the edge of house parties and scorns iPhones and other youthful trappings. On the other, he is as moulded by Angry Birds and Spotify as they are.
That split personality forms the heart of Capitalism, an intelligent, brilliantly funny and densely layered show that dissects depression one minute and offers up a supremely silly alternative World Cup anthem the next.
Last year Williams was up for the Best Newcomer award. Then, radiating angst and anger from the stage, it looked like he might not be cut out for stand-up, despite his obvious comedy talents. Now, newly confident, he almost looks like he’s enjoying himself. The writing is, once again, so lovely, so concise and precise, that you want to record it (“People say ‘George Orwell must be spinning in his grave.’ No. I think he’d be thinking, ‘Yes! I got it right!”), but this time he has control of the room, too. The laughs are loud and plentiful with just enough tension to keep it interesting.
Nibbling on a Flake, he explains that he wanted to do a big issues-driven show but was too lazy. He lays into corporate slogans, graffiti, technology and meditation with dry zeal but in the end, it’s about him. An on-stage alter-ego who heckles him might be an introspection too far but - and the phrase would surely make him wince - Williams is starting to sound like the voice of a generation.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Sherlock series 4: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have to be 'persuaded' to return, says Steven Moffat
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
A victory for gender equality on the high seas
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove