Straight to the point, Maxwell opened his show with the double whammy of Trump and Brexit. Trump gots a casual mention as, let’s face it, he’s the content of most other Fringe acts, but we lingered on Brexit as Maxwell dug into all that’s awful about it. He recently moved out of London to a village where all his neighbours have Union Jack flags and voted for Brexit. The joy of seeing Maxwell examine these issues came from his sheer incredulity at the ongoing downward spiral of events. In this world, where all facts can be reached at the touch of a button, how can so many people go on gut instinct to their own detriment?
Maxwell’s frustration at this was intoxicating, and he prowled the stage like a lion, circling his microphone, barking furious lamentations on how the world is falling apart. There was something almost elemental about seeing an Irish person working themselves into a fury (Black Books and IT Crowd jump immediately to mind) so seeing Maxwell’s impotent rage was a thing of beauty.
The thrust of the show was about politics and where we might go from here. One of the strongest parts for me was when Maxwell talked about moving to the UK in 1994, when the IRA were still actively carrying out bombings, and how, when performing, he felt the need to apologise for Ireland. While he didn’t make a direct connection with the current treatment of Muslims, we could put that bit together ourselves.
The crowd were absolutely loving it, although I found a section on tattoos and body modifications clanged and felt like it was pitched to the older generation. I was like “hang on, Mr Maxwell. This is like being told off by my dad”, but it was perhaps just there to get any of the Leave voters in the audience back on board considering they’d been getting hammered for most of the show. Fair enough I guess.
Andrew Maxwell’s Showtime runs until 27th August at Assembly George Square Theatre, 21:00.