Andrew Maxwell: That’s the Spirit

Assembly George Square

From 06 August 2012 to 27 August 2012

Rating: ***

Review by Philip Fisher

Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell has now become so popular that he can command full houses in the George Square Theatre at 9 o’clock. It doesn’t come a lot better.

Anyone sitting close to Mr Maxwell as he delivers his routine will get the impression of watching a very professional performer, confidently strolling around the stage while working his audience and ensuring that they are having a good time.

It comes as something of a surprise to learn that the BBC has commissioned him to front a series on conspiracy theories. It isn’t that he is under qualified to poke fun at UFO discoverers and nutty rednecks but because of the usual corporate concerns a puckish but unpredictable sense of humour plus devotion to the kind of language that the BBC still refuses to countenance.

The later and better part of his set pokes fun at those that he encountered on this trip, bringing in Maxwell’s favourite stock in trade of religion, which is always good for a few laughs, though at the potential risk of offending the punters.

In fact, the man in the Jane's Addiction T-shirt has built a career on his ability to sail close to the wind by attacking sectarianism in his home country and elsewhere, at one point getting a pair in the second row visibly bristling at the suggestion that Northern Ireland’s people are mainly characterised by their gingerishness.

The audience get what they pay for, a solid hour of risqué humour from a man that they have come to love on TV. As such, this is likely to be one of the hits of the Fringe.