Andy Barr: Neustadt
- Rowena McIntosh
- 17 August 2018
Madcap spy-based affair with rather sketchy drawings
In Neustadt, Andy Barr plays the part of an architect approached by a Soviet spy to build an ideal city, who is then recruited as a double agent by an English undercover agent. The hour begins with a quick pre-show chat about the ineffectiveness of his black-outs, the first of many amusing breaks in character where Barr elaborates on the staging or his props.
The audience is called on to suggest features of the Soviet city, which he then draws on large pieces of paper and pins above his stage. Barr acknowledges that there is a structural problem with the show: a lot of it is based around the audience watching him draw: and he can't draw. This is one of the funniest bits as we gleefully anticipate his next woeful attempt, and Barr throws murderous looks at audience members who suggest elaborate structures.
The start of some of his pre-recorded voice-overs are then lost in laughter, which is both a good and a bad thing. While his architect double-agent storyline loses momentum in places, Barr is a self-assured performer with a dry wit and the confidence to leave that extra pause before the punchline in this delightfully madcap performance.
Black Medicine Basement & Heroes, until 26 Aug, 7pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.