Alun Cochrane: Brave New Alun
- Murray Robertson
- 6 August 2019
Yorkshireman takes a bold sidestep away from his charming stand-up of yore
For the past 15 years, Alun Cochrane has been a purveyor of downbeat whimsy, performing charming observational comedy to critical acclaim. But recent political events have persuaded him to change tack, and he starts Brave New Alun by explaining that he's going to treat his audience as grown-ups, confident that we can all take a joke.
Cochrane then proceeds to mock disability, gender fluidity and Remainers, among other highly sensitive topics. And if you're already aware of his work, he really doesn't approach these subjects in the way you might expect. Some of this material feels like it belongs in someone else's show, particularly his views on 'deliberate' disability, while he sometimes struggles to fully support his assertions: his theory that money is the only privilege is a bold statement worthy of substantially more back-up than he offers here.
Throughout the show he insists he's merely an arbiter of 'faux outrage and professional victimhood' and it does feel like he's become genuinely fed up with political correctness, even turning against his fellow comics. He mentions no names but at the Edinburgh Fringe these ideas place him very much in the minority. Nevertheless, Cochrane has an immaculate way with delivery and he's still a very funny man. If you can take a joke.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug (not 12), 9.20pm, £10–£14.