Pleasance Courtyard – Above

August 19-25th – 10:30pm

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)

As Andrew Doyle takes to the stage at the Pleasance Above venue, there seems to be a more serious tone to his demeanor. Wearing a smart suit jacket and shirt combo (although he promises this was a Debenhams outfit), he strides to the microphone with a purpose. Andrew Doyle has some things to say and, in some cases, to clarify.

The past few years have been controversial to say the least for this stand-up. His first Edinburgh show in two years, this break in the spotlight has seen him writing for internet sensation Jonathan Pie, founding a free-speech comedy night in London and creating Titania McGrath, a satirical Twitter account that mocks certain parts of the liberal left. However, tonight is Andrew Doyle as himself: unfiltered, straight talking and unapologetically honest.

Gauging the room in the form of a show of hands, he works out that about 50% are left wing, 30% are right wing (a scarily fast hand shot up in the front row directly in front of Doyle when asked) and the other 20% being centrists. Doyle is himself left-wing (often mistaken as a right-wing comic in the media), so it is nice to see his willingness to include everyone, no matter their political belief. After some interesting comments regarding a former Tory MP, there were a few people who decided the show wasn’t for them, a shame but also unsurprising. This didn’t seem to bother Doyle and in fact he recovered remarkably well, segueing directly to his next routine with absolute ease.

Andrew Doyle is funny throughout his show, and his frustrated and increasingly irate persona (in addition to his increasingly empty wine bottle) is a sight to behold. This is a man who is very open about the fact that he voted Leave and is happy to give reasons why. It’s powerful and somewhat refreshing to hear.

The show overall is an astute hour of political comedy – well written and with a focus on just how much ‘woke’ culture has an impact on mainstream culture. Are they now simply one and the same?

The show garnered a few exits, but also a standing ovation from several audience members. Certainly one of the more polarising shows of the Fringe, but one of the most enjoyable.


James Macfarlane

Twitter: Justjammy