Vladimir McTavish: 60 Minutes to Save the World
- Suzanne Black
- 15 August 2019
Perceptive but not provocative analysis of our modern problems
Vladimir McTavish (AKA Paul Sneddon) is a mainstay of the Scottish comedy scene where his silver-topped spiky bonce can be seen all year round. His Fringe effort this year is a trawl through current affairs, ostensibly to try and find some solutions to the world's ills. Climate change, Brexit, Scottish football and politics come under his perceptive but not entirely innovative scrutiny. Politically a left-fielder, he comes across as such a gentle soul, refusing to rely on shock and provocation for laughs.
On this particular day the energy seemed low from all quarters. McTavish is perhaps too comfortable on stage, seemingly unwilling to coax any reactions out of the audience beyond their polite smatterings of laughter. At times, he winds up into some excellent set-pieces – one on procuring drugs and another on the experience of the Edinburgh to Glasgow train – but this vigour does not last.
The crowd's reticence to vocalise their appreciation belied their enjoyment as many of the attendees expressed high praise after the hour was over despite not uttering a peep during the show itself. Maybe the current news cycle has worn us all down, McTavish included. This slightly quiet affair is not up to his usual capabilities but still thoroughly enjoyable.
The Stand's New Town Theatre, until 25 Aug, 6.50pm, £10 (£9).