Andrew Doyle’s Crash Course in Depravity

COMEDY
****
Andrew Doyle’s Crash Course in Depravity
Just the Tonic at The Store

A reviewer previously described openly gay Andrew Doyle’s act as a crash course in depravity, with good reason on the basis of tonight. This is a bold, brash, confident hour by the solo stand-up Fringe newcomer. It’s not a set for everyone, but the show has ‘Depravity’ it the title – and you get what you pay for.

Doyle doesn’t just resort to shock tactics to entertain this capacity audience however, though shocks, there are a few. This is intelligent stuff as he exposes the absurdity of Catholicism, sex, racism and homophobia.  He occasionally deconstructs his own work in the style of an angry, queer version of Stewart Lee, but also reminds one of Jim Jeffries or Brendon Burns. Scott Capurro’s influence as director is often apparent, though this is a very different show to his. However, like Capurro’s shows, if you do not want to take part, don’t sit in the first few rows.

On reflection, perhaps the point of the show is lost a little, as the more extreme physical elements inevitably linger longer in the memory. Doyle’s one of this country’s great comic wordsmiths, but here his actions are so much louder than his words. It seems churlish to be so picky about such a good, strong performance, but he is very close to producing a very rare five star stand up show – if he can get that balance right.

That said, if you want to have a damn good laugh, by an up-and-coming star, you’ll see few shows that deliver this often – and this well.