Frankie Boyle (4 stars)

  • 21 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

At one point, about halfway through his set, Frankie Boyle takes a break from his rapid-fire delivery, dons a huge crown and steps into a tight spotlight to deliver his ‘thoughts for the day’ accompanied by Alice Cooper’s ‘Poison’. He advises his audience that this section is ‘a bit mental, but go with it; it’s very short.’ This five-minute diversion aside, The Voice of Black America is refreshingly devoid of gimmicks. Boyle’s an unapologetic stand-up of the old school, railing acerbically against all the nonsense that surrounds him with eye-popping incredulity.

The punchlines come thick and fast, the comic tearing up an entire farmyard full of sacred Scottish cows, from the country’s most frequently visited tourist attraction, the Falkirk Wheel (‘the people of Scotland have come up with a wheel. Only 2000 years after every other fucker’), to the notion of sending glass-bottomed boats down the Clyde (‘I can just imagine the tourists’ faces when it goes over the first corpse’). He’s also wizard at taking a theme - from paedophilia to ID cards to the government’s ideas on education - and wringing the last outrageous comedy drops from it.

Boyle is particularly adept at zeroing in on the audience members who are ripe for humiliation. When asking one woman where she comes from, the shrill shriek of ‘California!’ is enough to send a ripple of bloodthirsty anticipation around the audience. ‘You’re gonnae wish you hadn’t stuck your hand up,’ grins Boyle wickedly. (Allan Radcliffe)

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 9pm, £10.50-£11.50 (£9-£10).

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