'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

John Gordillo: F*ckonomics Review

John Gordillo: F*ckonomics

How well does economics translate into humour? Adam Smith, the father of the subject, was apparently an eccentric who spent more time talking to himself at dinner parties than providing witty banter. In a brief flash of mischief, however, Smith had apparently asked a French visitor if he liked music, which he said he did. Adam Smith then, proving a point about relativity, grabbed a bagpiper who proceeded to terrify the French visitor into retracting his statement.

Ok, not hilarious but the thought’s there. Gordillo, in a show with the timely subject of markets and mating attempts to merge economics and humour. His performance produced an icy silence from the crowd, however, save for the one drunken Californian in a kilt. To say this crowd was ‘tough’ is an understatement. They would have made a one legged Waffen SS veteran of Stalingrad look like Minnie the Mouse. Gordillo, a self confessed weak liberal, squirmed and wriggled in these conditions and utterly failed to find his comedy flow.

Nonetheless the theory of F*ckonomics has the mind of an intelligent observer behind it. As in any economy, Gordillo notes, an abundance of demand combined with little supply increases competition. Relationships are contractual agreements with a give and take aspect to proceedings. The f*ck tax is the punishments or naggings a partner is exposed to for being allowed access to intimacy. Lies, on the other hand, are loans taken out against ones character. Intelligent and witty at a dinner party perhaps, but slightly too long winded and thought out for a proper stand up show.

Gordillo also has a continual appearance of irritation and twitchiness about him, and seems to be trying desperately to squirm clever turns of phrase out of his body. Frequently, however, he gives up and swears instead. And this show has a lot of swearing - and annoying, preppy middle class swearing at that. As Gordillo undoubtedly knows printing too much money results in inflation and devaluation of currency. Similarly, print too many swear words from your tongue and they too loose their original purpose and value.

Thought out and clever, Gordillo is a weak stand up in front of a tough crowd. This may have been an off night, yet any act worth its salt should surely be able to deal with such awkward situations.

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