Fringe Review – Andy Zaltzman

Andy Zaltzman, 32, Administers his Emergency Dose of Afternoon Utopia, Steps Back and Waits to See What Happens



ANDY Zaltzman could be facing an uphill struggle this August. An afternoon slot isn’t especially conducive to intellectually demanding political satire, especially if it’s a dreich Sunday and most of the audience are probably nursing Festival hangovers.

For, while everyone in The Stand appreciated the curly headed Zaltzman’s clever subversions of our political leaders’ spin-soaked declarations, the atmosphere throughout was as damp as the weather outside.

The premise involves Zaltzman asking the audience what they would have in their utopia. This provides some light banter, such as when one joker cited North Korea as his ideal nation. But Zaltzman’s real mission is to warp our socially accepted beliefs to such an extreme that we see them for the absurd, controlling falsities they are. The perfect target for this is the environment, where Zaltzman proposes his own radical – and very funny – strategies to cut carbon.

Unfortunately, the majority of his show covers a staple diet of Blair, Bush, Iraq, and the War on Terror, which accumulatively is rather like Rory Bremner without the funny voices.

Zaltzman is obviously a fine satirist, but he’s no natural performer and, though you may admire the sharp originality of the material, you’re unlikely to fall off your chair in fits of laughter.

Until 27 August. Today 3.10pm


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