Pope Benedict: Bond Villain

Abie Philbin Bowman
Emily Gough / Something for the Weekend
Pleasance Courtyard

Abie Philbin Bowman has come a long way since the days of making jokes about Jesus in Guantanomo Bay. Following on from his Eco-Friendly Jihad, he's now turned his sights on the Pope and organised religion as a whole, looking into the way the world looks at religion and comparing it to how the world looks at money.

The biggest problem with this show is that for a Fringe show called Pope Benedict: Bond Villain, there is only one mention of the titular pontiff during the entire routine. Not that if detracts massively from the comedy, but when Bowman feels the need to begin the show with a ten minute rant about why he isn't going to mention James Bond much, it gives the audience a worrying sense of something having been mis-marketed. Furthermore, it smacks of laziness when Bowman repeats a scene from Monty Python verbatim. However if there is one thing that he shouldn't be accused of, it's lacking in opinions and feeling the need to share them.

The show itself then consists mostly of Bowman giving air to his disdain for sectarianism, politics, mass media and the government. All with a relative glee and a sense of superiority. Which is not to say that he isn't damned funny throughout. Sporting a clean cut and more professional look that his earlier unkempt crusty hippy look of yesteryear, he's all but a different person. It's a far more thought-out and in ways a humbler show that Eco-Friendly Jihad, and definitely an intelligent and wry looks at the world, but damn if I didn't wish there were a few more jokes about James Bond.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan