Andrew Maxwell: Showtime (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Andrew Maxwell: Showtime

credit: Steve Ullathorne

An unstoppable hour of mojo-fuelled mischief

If this is what he's like having driven up the country for half a day, it's staggering to imagine what a fresh Andrew Maxwell might be capable of. He might insist that he's arrived in Edinburgh woefully unprepared and clutches a bundle of notes as physical evidence of the safety net he relies on for opening night, but the Dubliner has no need to refer to anything other than his own inspired thought processes. Once his mojo is up and running, he's an unstoppable force.

Like so many in town this month, Brexit and Trump are firmly on his mind (he curses himself for even uttering the White House resident's name) but Maxwell uses them as triggers to make other points about how the world doesn't need to be hellbent on division and opposition. Take the Maxwell household, occupied as it is by an Irish Methodist and a prosecco-loving Muslim in a contemporary show of diversity and unity.

It's not all high-minded bigot-baiting though, as he zeroes in on curious elements which eschew normality: such as gorillas on slides and cockney gangster-like vicars. As Maxwell remarks early on, he's been doing the Fringe for 23 years now. But his powers of persuasion and ability to conjure up comedy mischief have rarely been sharper.

Assembly George Square Theatre, 5–27 Aug (not 14), 9pm, £13–£15 (£12–£14). Previews until 4 Aug, £10.

Andrew Maxwell: Showtime

  • 4 stars

Andrew Maxwell's new show discusses all the things we should be discussing (hint: not immigration, globalisation and populism) in the current climate.