Comedy review: Colin Hoult/Anna Mann in How We Stop the Fascists

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Clichés get to be clichés because they are used so often and they tend to be used so often because they work. This show is absolutely full of clichés, all of them working quite beautifully.

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)


Together they make a laughter-filled hour of character comedy with a light dusting of politics wrapped up in a verbatim theatre piece by much-
married actress and activist Anna Mann.

I only wish I had caught up with Anna and been able to enjoy some of her extraordinary previous works, which she tells us about before immersing us in her current fight against fascism. Along the way we meet Nick, who thinks Lenny Henry should play everything; Marjorie, who worries about donkeys; Cheryl, a young lady of many, many triggers and minimal research; and Andy, a martyr to Berocca.

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Anna – when not being distracted by her friend Sue, who is locked in a Portaloo – uses all her considerable thespian skills to persuade us that we are never more than a moment away from a fascist, or even from becoming one ourselves.

Although the show seems fluffy, Anna and her close friend Colin Hoult manage to get some superbly vicious and very funny jabs in at much more than the right wing. Their description of political theatre is unsurpasssable.

This is beautifully written stuff and if there is a flaw, it is that it almost seems like a stage version of a brilliant radio piece.

Until 27 August. Today 4:45pm.