Andrew O'Neill's Black Magick Fun Hour
- Suzanne Black
- 13 August 2017
This article is from 2017
A bewitching hour which forces audiences to question their worldview
Andrew O'Neill spells magick with a 'k', so you know he's serious. Any remaining doubt is dispelled when he begins the show in rams' horns, swinging a censer of incense and intoning an invocation. He asks the gods Mercury, Hermes and Thoth to inspire him to write a great Fringe show and proceeds to explain for 60 minutes how magic manifests in daily life.
At first bewildering – O'Neill fires one-liners, unaccompanied punchlines, musical interludes and very old references at a blistering pace – he uses his intelligence and eloquence to combine anecdotes about his wife, musings on the power of words, absurd imagery, nods to his metal-headedness, and excavations of what makes comedy work to induce an incantatory state of near-constant laughter.
Not many comedy shows, especially ones in which a practitioner of the occult sings songs about his cat, prompt the audience to re-examine their worldviews and theories of knowledge. O'Neill accomplishes this while remaining gut-bustingly funny throughout. Mercury is also the god of commerce and profit, which bodes well for O'Neill's bank balance, though it would be a shame not to give the man himself the credit for this bewitching, beguiling and bombastic hour.
Liquid Room Annexe, until 27 Aug (not 21), 5pm, free.