Simon Evans: Dressing for Dinner, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh * * * *
This is a very personal show. Unexpectedly so. Of course Simon's hours are always peppered with autobiographical detail, but the last twenty minutes of this show are a gripping and, ultimately heartwarming tale (and Simon is not best known for warming hearts) of how his world was shattered and came back together better than before. I am not going to tell you his story. You should hear it from him, all rich with Evans' wit and caustic observation.
You certainly do not see it coming, albeit, in hindsight, the entire show sets up the revelatory end section beautifully. Along the way you get all the trademark irascibility and frustration with a modern life in which every micro-irritation becomes a hanging offence and pathways of acceptable thought are policed like speed limits on a road past a primary school. He is, he tells us, attempting to re-position himself in the entertainment world. Fewer jokes and more opinion is his aim. You will form your own opinion on how that is going when you see him. But there are jokes – even one involving three men going into a bar. Simon's potential joke-making is very much reduced, sadly, in these woke times, positioned, as he is, as an intersectional paradigm of oppression. But the old chap does incredibly well.
Until 25 August