'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Clive James Review

Clive James Review

Few comedians can exude the wit and charm of Clive James. In his typically laid back fashion (and stylish M&S ensemble) we are guided through his thoughts about a variety of subjects; from the Olympics and Edinburgh rain to Max Mosley and Nietzsche.

Much of the show is reflective in tone, and it is refreshing to see a comedian assured enough in his performance to disregard cheap, instant laughs in favour of well formed thoughts. What, James wonders, will comedians do with the withdrawal of Tony Blair and George Bush from public life? Thankfully, for a man of his age, James never becomes overly cynical or despairing in tone and manages to hold the attention of the audience well. In his nasal Australian accent it becomes apparent that Clive James can wander into almost any subject (Marks and Spencer for example) and effortlessly entertain. It’s also a relaxed and intelligent performance, which in a festival of hyper-active, aggressively opinionated comedians makes a welcome change of pace. His new book Cultural Amnesia is hilariously plugged throughout and a great passage on Richard Burton’s hair in Where Eagles Dare serves as a highlight of the show.

An excellent evening of entertainment, bringing out James’ keen intellect and brilliant sense of humour – well worth seeing.

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