Stephen Grant

This article is from 2007.

An ideological cheerleader on a mission to inform

‘Comedy just pokes at problems, rarely confronts them squarely,’ Woody Allen once said. He didn’t, however, reckon with Stephen Grant whose self-proclaimed mission this August is not only to ‘obliterate untruths and punish inaccuracies’, but to solve major global issues. ‘We have access to more information than ever, but there’s an unparalleled level of cynicism,’ says the 34-year-old. ‘We don’t believe anybody any more.’

Ready to tackle this ‘tide of misinformation’, Grant will be returning to his Viz Top Tips-style inventions, this time using a laptop instead of old school flipcharts. ‘It’s going to be my most heartfelt and technically complicated show to date,’ he says of what is his fourth full-length Fringe performance. ‘I’ll be trying to explore the things that make us happy. I have quite a skewered approach to dealing with problems and I’m completely over-analytical. I’ll be dispelling some urban myths, I’ll prove how long a piece of string is, and I have a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. I’ll also explain 20 years of US foreign policy using international dialling codes.’

So is this comedy to change the world? ‘It’s comedy to explain the world,’ he stresses. ‘I think of myself as an ideological cheerleader.’

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 4–27 August (not 8, 15), 6pm, £11–£12 (£9.50–£10.50). Previews until 3 Aug, £6.

Stephen Grant

  • 4 stars

Hard-working, inventive comedy from Grant; a boy who knows how to ring out all the comedic potential from his material. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'.

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