William Andrews (4 stars)

This article is from 2009.

William Andrews

Back in the day when Edinburgh-based comic Will Andrews was flaky Geordie maniac Tony Carter, a propensity for technological hi-jinks either hampered or helped chaotic Fringe shows such as Evil Army or Benefit Fraudster. The New Deal character actually hit the mark more often when he was simply filling up the stage with an over-abundance of nervous tension or climaxing his performance by wrapping himself up in Sellotape. Will Andrews has now extended himself to William Andrews and with Nitwit has fused various parts of his previous act: the digital antics still abound, a Tony Carter-like character gets a look in by taking a small screen version of a mascara-running Anna Crilly back home after a night out and there’s a brilliant physical finale to the hour. But now, all those elements have fused and it all works like an absolute dream acting as a strong testament to Andrews’ perseverance and abilities.

Mind you, were the technology to fail him, it’s hard to imagine how this show would work at all with even the longest streams of straight stand-up or character comedy all relying on some kind of techno pay-off. The little box at the front of the stage contains a powerkeg of multimedia effects and his timing with those screened jokes are almost universally spot-on. There is one stomach-dropping moment when it seems that it might all be about to go to pot, but even then there’s a twist in store. Nitwit is a blisteringly inventive hour in the company of a boiler-suited comic who seems to have stuck periods of comedy frustration behind him and is finally getting within touching distance of the big time.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 6.50pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8).

William Andrews: Nitwit

  • 4 stars

Part stand-up, part sketches, part monster: a fast-paced mix of media, melodrama and monkey jokes. 'Deranged and quite brilliant comic star' (Scotsman). 'A vision of love wearing boxing gloves singing hearts and flowers' (Aztec Camera).

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