Comedy Review: Andrew Maxwell: All Talk, Underbelly George Square, Edinburgh

Andrew Maxwell skewers our Brexit-addled times in his new show.
Andrew Maxwell skewers our Brexit-addled times in his new show.
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Irish comic Andrew Maxwell tells us he loves eejits, which is just as well, since he now lives in Kent – the heart of pro-Brexit England.

Andrew Maxwell:All Talk, Underbelly George Square, Edinburgh ****

The idiocy of post-logic, post-fact, post-truth contemporary politics and the nightmarish slow car-crash of Brexit fill him with mirth. And he has a solution to the whole thing which is both ingenious and unexpected.

There is no particular theme to his new Edinburgh show – but if there were, it could be the pleasure and the advantages of not taking life too seriously. Middle-aged Maxwell is a less angry and more contented creature – albeit one who has lost none of his fierce intelligence and independent outlook.

READ MORE: Andrew Maxwell on playing the Aussie Fringe circuit

He is an original thinker and his views on big subjects – Brexit, marriage, tabloids, trans rights and reality television – are never what you might expect. He’s full of love for Edinburgh and its comedy-literate audiences – but he is not afraid to lampoon our Presbyterian and nationalistic tendencies. This is a great place for comedy, he tells us – but only because it is so immensely hard to persuade a Scot to smile.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of big laughs in this show. Maxwell’s superb mimicry allows him to populate his show with a whole range of characters, from rabid Kent Brexiteers to Italian chip shop owners, and he has a brilliantly absurd theory about why the Leeds accent is the king of all the regional varieties of English.

He’s a connoisseur of the ridiculous, and yet is not the slightest bit cynical – a refreshing quality in these distressing times when so many things in the world are so stupid. Getting older suits him and there’s a genuine warmth and wisdom to mellow Maxwell gold, which is unexpectedly soothing to the soul.

Until August 25

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