Andrew Doyle: Zero Tolerance (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

*4andrew Doyle: Zero Tolerance

Highly amusing Edinburgh Fringe show about raw heartbreak eventually becomes easy to pre-empt

Hell hath no fury like Andrew Doyle dumped. Applying his typical cruel wit to the thoughts a recent break-up has left him with, he doesn’t just thoroughly shred his ex with that sharp tongue, it’s people who talk on trains, homophobes, children, readers of Nuts and 50 Shades of Grey and many, many more besides. He starts with no pre-amble and talks at what feels like ninety miles an hour for the duration, keeping the pace through exchanges with the audience with nary a beat missed. This is practised, expert stuff, and even with three quarters of a bottle of wine in him he can deliver a pitch-perfect impression of a certain comedian’s comedian to break the spell of a poignant moment.

This is a show about heartbreak, a very raw, very recent episode of heartbreak, and as such there are moments when, more or less intentionally, it’s pretty damn unfunny. In these moments, helped by the wildcard effect of the aforementioned bottle of red, Doyle maintains a bit of jeopardy as to whether he might actually slip out of professionalism and performance and into drunken despair. He doesn’t, but it’s an interesting balance to his bitchiness, which, while highly amusing, eventually becomes easy to pre-empt.

The Stand IV, 558 7272, until 24 Aug (not 11), 9.20pm, £8 (£7).

Andrew Doyle: Zero Tolerance

Andrew Doyle used to be a teacher and now he's a comedian – a career trajectory which makes a significant amount of sense.