Edward Aczel (3 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Edward Aczel

The dry meanderings of a new kind of comic

The anti-comedy of Edward Aczel has certainly garnered itself a strong following. And while there is plenty hearty laughter at the goings-on within his show which, it promises, Explains All the World’s Problems … And Then Solves Them, the bulk of it is strained and awkward, quite probably the reaction which Aczel is most keen on dragging out from his crowd. He spends the opening few minutes setting up his stage and walking off for no obvious reason, before returning. And then walking off once again. You get the idea.

There is a strong strain at this Fringe of comedy which seeks to broaden the form’s definition almost to snapping point with Paul Foot and Hans Teeuwen infuriating and invigorating audiences within almost the same sentence, but Aczel is the one who has gained most attention, presumably because he also looks anti-comedy, a burly middle-aged man who speaks softly while conducting a raffle or reading verbatim from Wikipedia pages about the Spanish War of Succession. If he was your lecturer, Edward Aczel would be a boring drain on your time. As he’s a stand-up comic, his dry meanderings are apparently the evidence of pure genius.

Underbelly, 08445 458 252, until 30 Aug, 7,25pm, £6.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9).

Edward Aczel - Explains All the World's Problems ... and Then Solves Them

  • 3 stars

Aczel solves the credit crunch, climate change and, critically, stand-up comedy. 'One of the most original acts in years' (Guardian). ***** (Time Out); **** (Times); **** (Herald). www.showandtelluk.com

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