Comedy review: Dan Antopolski's Penetrating Gaze


BOUNDING onstage in a cape and firing out a sharp routine about Spiderman negotiating cities other than New York, Dan Antopolski wants you to know that while he's been away playing Jesus, albeit briefly, in The Da Vinci Code, he's taken on the far more heroic mantle of becoming father to two young daughters. His children have made this his first Fringe for four years and, unfortunately, the former Perrier nominee has yet to regain the peak of his considerable powers. Rigorous thematic consistency has never been the Antopolski approach, but a lack of parents in the audience didn't stop him indulging in (admittedly first-rate) banter at the expense of his set. He's a frustrating talent to watch, ad-libbing decent routines about Pluto's downgraded planetary status to a disappointing shrug and lapsing into a section from his 2002 show, though his inventive mind allows him to shift adroitly from porn to the Holocaust in a single line. Ironically, he's at his best when tightly scripted. His sandwich rap and another intentionally racist one, brilliantly qualified to the point of acceptability, are solid gold, while his closing rhymes, explicitly dissing his babies, are destined to become one of this Festival's unequivocal highlights.

• Until 24 August. Today 8:50pm