Igor Meerson: Hou I Lernt Inglish
Russian comic avoids politics and sticks to tired, old-hat material at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Officially approved by Edinburgh's favourite morose comedian Dylan Moran (who is presenting the show in association with Mike Perrin Worldwide), Igor Meerson is the first Russian stand-up on the Fringe. He's incredibly sweet, and considering live comedy is a new phenomenon in Russia, it's understandable that much of his material is old fashioned.
The first half centres of comparing the direct, abrubt Russian vocabulary with the Brits' love of politeness. Then going into how French always sounds sexy, German sounds aggressive and Italian just sounds like food. It's all mildly amusing but draws on several tired old stereotypes that have already been flogged to death many times before.
There's a fun game involving three audience volunteers and a bottle of vodka followed by some cute gags about parachuting and salsa classes. However with the current political situation in Russia and the media's portrayal of Vladimir Putin in the UK it feels like a missed opportunity to tackle these issues from a different perspective. Meerson lacks bite and apart from a vague call for love and understanding beyond borders in the closing ten minutes, he ignores politics and keeps things light.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 11), 8.30pm, £8–£10.50 (£7–£9.50).