Fin Taylor: When Harassy Met Sally (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Fin Taylor: When Harassy Met Sally

Contentious statements and caustic arguments delivered with a wink

If you need someone to give a weighty and delicate subject a little prod, Fin Taylor is your man. It's easy to imagine him being unable to walk past a hornets' nest without giving it a welly, revelling in the chaos and irritation that ensues. In consistently acclaimed Fringe hours, he has pondered the state of racial privilege (Whitey McWhiteface in 2016) and last year he tore into lazy liberal values (Lefty Tighty Righty Loosey).

For this year's hour, he's dipping an unsightly toe into the caustic waters of the modern gender wars, which have gone nuclear ever since the Harvey Weinstein revelations ushered in #MeToo and a raft of horrible stories and volley of accusations. From Taylor's perspective in When Harassy Met Sally, there are clear shades and nuances to the behaviour of those men who have been outed as abusers, with Aziz Ansari's 'bad date' tale one that should never have been equated with the serial assaults perpetrated by the Miramax monster. Perhaps more controversially, he shrugs a disdainful shoulder at the Louis CK scandal when he perceives a level of distorted chivalry at play in the comic's actions.

Admitting from the top that there will be something to annoy someone in almost everything he will say during the hour, he sits down to make his most poisonous comments, because things never sound quite as bad when pronounced from a chair. His pause, glance and guilty giggle that arrives after opening up yet another wound might give away his true motives, and he generally will dole out his most contentious statements closely after siding with those who have been hurt at source. The joy of a Fin Taylor show, whether you even agree with very much of what he's saying on stage, is that his analyses and arguments are rarely hack, and come from a place of considered argument where the grey areas are king.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug (not 15), 9.45pm, £8–£10 (£7–£9).

Fin Taylor: When Harassy Met Sally

Fin Taylor gets into race, politics and the war of the sexes.