Chris McGlade: Infant Hercules (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Chris McGlade: Infant Hercules

A passionate if sometimes skewed view of modern politics and contemporary society

At a youthful 52, Chris McGlade claims to be old and a bit broken, but there's no doubt there's still plenty of passion in him yet. While making himself a cuppa and cracking open the ginger nuts, he opens with a rant about how much he dislikes the Fringe, largely down to how middle class and elitist it is. For McGlade, it's all very far removed from the gigs he does on the working men's club circuit.

Along the way he slips in many a gag from that arena, signposting them when he does so. But a well-written joke is a well-written joke, and there's no reason they can't chime here too, as only a handful of acts have discovered when playing both the alternative circuit and the 'mainstream' clubs. McGlade's main beef is the persistent side-lining of the working classes by both the comedy scene and society as a whole, and the gross generalisations made about whole groups of people. There's no doubt that the working classes are frequently dismissed as stupid people whose opinions don't matter to government, and there aren't too many vocalising their plight.

But in sections of the show, McGlade's equally as guilty of generalising. When discussing transgender people, he skims over the topic, treating it as a PC fad rather than an issue we now have a greater understanding of thanks to scientific advancements. He also doesn't go very far into the battle between Trump and the liberal elite. The idea that people voted for the Republican businessman because they felt left behind and because Clinton was no angel herself is indubitable, but there's way more wrong with Trump than just 'grabbing one pussy'.

However, Chris McGlade ends on a powerfully poignant poem he's penned to his grandchildren and along with it comes a call for everyone to come together. And with that you can't argue at all.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 27 Aug, 11pm, £5 (£4) or Pay What You Want.

Infant Hercules

  • 3 stars

Chris McGlade Loud, outspoken and very accessible political comedy from a Northern working-class prospective. Likened to a hybrid of Jerry Sadowitz and Johnny Vegas, Chris is opinionated and a tour de force. Unlike any comic you have seen – a true alternative. Not for the faint-hearted. 'This is whole-hearted stuff that…