'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

Tim Minchin – Are you ready for this? Review

Tim Minchin – Are you ready for this?

It’s odd to see members of an audience get visibly excitable before a comedian’s entrance. We usually sit expectantly, conversing with our neighbour or twiddling our thumbs. Yet Tim Minchin achieved this level of excitement from a small core of the audience which went wild with his opening barrage of noise ‘Are you ready for this?’ Apparently I was not.

After this initial display of lights and vocal pounding, Minchin appears, strangely frail and timid after such a build up. His opening lines, as he confesses, don’t make for a ‘cracking start’, and he likens it to initiating sex. Your reviewer’s comedy loins were in no way aroused, and the usual rigmarole of spotting odd looking items of clothing was commenced with. Perhaps not as dazzling as the initial fanfare makes out.

Minchin then takes us through his opinions about America, which soon becomes a torrent of over the top abuse heaped on their attitudes to religion, evolution and ‘the good book.’ However much we might agree with his ham fisted and crass ranting, it amounts to unoriginal and lazy humour. Statements such as ‘why can’t you just float the f**k away’ often result in quiet embarrassment, rather than a laugh.

A sparkle of individuality does appear in a nine minute beat poem about a new age environmentalist, something initially witty and subtle. Yet this is stifled by Minchin’s glaringly obvious opinions triumphing over humour; his animal rights song (not, surely, a recipe for hilarity) suffering a similar fate.

Strangely reminiscent of a philosophy society meeting, this show has more reckless ranting and signs of personal insecurities than decent jokes. Behind the initial lights and noise, Minchin sticks to traditional subjects and often allows opinion (dare I say it, ego) to trump good comedy.

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