Magnus Betnér Live (4 stars)

This article is from 2012

Magnus Betnér Live

One of Sweden's finest comic exports prefers to look on the bleak side of life

In one shaven-headed, tattooed man appears to be encapsulated the downbeat, morose nature of the Scandic peoples. Letting us know that everything he says on stage is absolutely true, who couldn’t feel worried about his suicidal thoughts? But it’s ok, he wouldn’t put his young daughter through the pain of losing her father that way, he’ll probably wait til she’s in her early 20s before ‘checking out’.

It might not sound the most obvious framework for a storming comedy set, but without these dark musings, Magnus Betnér would most likely be a very different, and less powerful, comic. Much of his material veers towards the blacker side of life, and the news stories which touch on tragedy and terror are the main source for his work.

He really has no time for Julian Assange, suicide bombers, the Batman killer and Michael McIntyre, but has words of praise for the zoo animals who have recently been fighting back: such as the gorilla in Prague and the tiger in Copenhagen. Betnér may not be a bundle of joy, but his comedy is among the sharpest and most vital on the Fringe.

Assembly Rooms, 0844 693 3008, until 26 Aug (not 16), 8.45pm, £10 (£9).

Betnér at Village Lantern

Magnus Betnér Live

  • 4 stars

Magnus Betnér is currently one of the more controversial comedians working the UK circuit. Following 2010’s successful run here at The Stand – he returns with a brand-new hour of searing, no-holds-barred comedy. His iconoclastic, taboo-busting style sees him confronting topics as varied and contentious as paedophilia…

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