A mix of the inspired and the obnoxious
This article is from 2008.
It’s been said that the older people get, the less worried they are about causing offence. Scott Capurro, veteran of some 15 Fringe summers, has clearly decided to go for broke this year, trampling all over every sacred cow and totem of political correctness he can dredge up, then rapid-fire splattering his audience with the resulting debris. It’s telling that, as the queue files into what the performer will later describe as ‘Anne Frank’s attic’ the audience members scurry for the seats furthest from the stage. Clearly, Capurro’s reputation precedes him.
When he initially turns his studied lasciviousness on a Bambi-eyed young man in the front row, who plays along gamely with his graphically lewd banter, the audience laughs cosily along, relieved not to be his chosen foil for the evening. At the point when he turns on a woman in the second row, demands to know whether she’s had an abortion recently and accuses her of not being able to keep her legs closed, it starts to feel like that moment of eyes-down embarrassment at a party when one particularly drunken guest becomes obnoxious.
When he’s in full solo flight, however, it’s exhilarating to witness Capurro kicking gleefully at the boundaries of taste and acceptability. Madeleine McCann, George W Bush and the Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad are just for starters. When he ramps up the set to spout forth on AIDS, paedophilia, racism and anal rape he provokes restrained bursts of incredulous, slightly nervous laughter. At times the material is genuinely bold and inspired, though it eventually starts to feel relentless and a bit contrived. At the end, Capurro slightly undermines his impact by needlessly explaining that all the anecdotes in the show are made up. For maximum shock value, he should have kept us guessing.
Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug, 9.15pm, £9.50–£11.50 (£8.50–£10.50).