Erich McElroy: The Brit Identity
A permanent cultural exchange with laughs
This article is from 2012.
Whenever a comedian brings a show to the Fringe with any kind of social or political bent, the evolving nature of world events can often turn around to bite them in a soft fleshy place. In 2005, Andrew Maxwell was compelled to rewrite swathes of material having written a show about how Britain could never cultivate suicide bombers. Then 7/7 happened.
This year, Erich McElroy used the ever-pessimistic nature of the UK populace as a core part of The Brit Identity, only for Danny Boyle to go and upset that apple cart with his goodwill-generating Olympics opening ceremony. Fortunately, Seattle-born McElroy had batches of other material to wield for his story about how he became a British citizen.
A reasonably proud American, McElroy wants any Statesiders in the audience (there are a small handful on this occasion) that he’s now ‘less American’, not ‘Un-American’ as he tells of the hoops he had to go through in order to obtain a passport while learning a whole new set of cultural customs; he admits that getting a handle on sarcasm was one of the toughest bridges he had to cross.
Though he does stick in one fairly mild reference to 9/11 (if material about mass murder can ever be deemed as gentle) in order to bait the USAers in the house, but he’s never less than safe from harm in this warm and funny show.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 4.45pm, £11--£12 (£9.50--£11).