'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

Jamie Kilstein – Revenge of the Serfs Review

Jamie Kilstein – Revenge of the Serfs

America is a place of contradictions; of religious zealots and militant secularists, staunch conservatives and open-minded liberals.

Jamie Kilstein, whose comedy revolves around these contradictions, gives a performance which could be broadly classed as ‘Americana’. He’s probably a good litmus test for east coast American liberal thinking at the moment. This is often articulate, intelligent and well worth listening too. Yet Kilstein inevitably verges on descending into a preachy left-wing intellectual rant on stage.

We all know someone like Kilstein. They do ‘research’ on the internet and present their lazy intellectual rigour through aggressive and confrontational debate. Sure, they’re likeable, although one often has to switch off to the ‘It’s the government, man’ conversations. As a result it didn’t come as a huge shock when Kilstein admitted a more personal tone through anecdotes about his rocky relationship with his father. This is touching stuff, although not often that funny.  

During Kilstein’s performance a woman in one of the back rows actually got up and lay down on several seats and sleep. He didn’t deserve this, isn’t that bad and is undeniably likeable as a performer.

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