Andrew O'Neill – We Are Not In the Least Afraid of Ruins; We Carry A New World in Our Hearts (4 stars)

Andrew O'Neill: We Are Not In The least Afraid of Ruins -- We Carry A New World In Our Hearts

credit: Tom Medwell

Sublime manifesto about binaries and crockery

A lone figure stands swaddled in a dark robe, warming his hands from the heat of a stage lamp. This is the post-apocalypse and Andrew O'Neill is here to bring us hope from the ashes. 'Tonight I'm gonna be asking the big questions,' he announces before launching into a sublime set of subversive optimism.

Throughout this wildly entertaining hour, O'Neill presents a furious diatribe about the myriad failings of capitalism. Hilariously spoofing his self-proclaimed inability to perform topical material, he serves up a passionate manifesto determined to convince us all to save what remains of the environment. O'Neill has honed his stagecraft over a long career and this hour is a triumph. With barely a pause for breath he ferociously attacks wartime nostalgia, false binary arguments and – in one glorious sequence – the over-prevalence of cutlery and crockery.

At no point is O'Neill's pacing anything other than supremely assured. He occasionally takes on the guise of a Geordie conspiracy theorist to help emphasise his points, and he has total control of the crowd. Even when some of his gags fail to hit their mark he turns their tepid reaction into moments of joy.

Liquid Room Annexe, until 25 Aug, 5.30pm, free.

Andrew O'Neill – We Are Not in the Least Afraid of Ruins; We Carry a New World in Our Hearts

  • 4 stars

Andrew O'Neill / PBH's Free Fringe After the apocalypse, hope. Also, jokes. Award-winning cult comedian Andrew O'Neill bring sunshine to the party. 'Absolutely hilarious' (Neil Gaiman). 'The very definition of alternative' (Time Out). Strong Language/Swearing Age category: 12+

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