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Edinburgh Fringe 2019 reviews: Clive Anderson / Goodbear | reviews, news & interviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2019 reviews: Clive Anderson / Goodbear

Edinburgh Fringe 2019 reviews: Clive Anderson / Goodbear

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Clive Anderson makes his stand-up debut at the FringeBBC Radio 4

Clive Anderson Assembly George Square ****

Clive Anderson has obeyed the Fringe comedy gods and given his debut solo show a title and a theme. Actually, Me, Macbeth & I is mostly just him talking very amusingly for an hour about his days in the Cambridge Footlights, his dual careers in law and on television - and that interview with the Bee Gees.

He’s a fantastic raconteur, even if he does have a verbal tic of “Oh I must just mention this”, or “Before I tell you that”. Anderson is so full of stories that if he did lose his place in the script it really wouldn’t matter.

Anderson demonstrates his mastery of punning  - “He may have used a ghost writer,” he says of James I/VI’s book on demonology - and talks about his part-Scottish heritage, his favourite play and the theatrical legends surrounding it.

He also describes the perils of being a chatshow host, and obligingly trots out some favourite anecdotes, including why the Bee Gees once walked off - Anderson cracked a very funny joke at their expense about the group’s previous name, Les Tosseurs - and why Cher was a once-only guest. 

He couldn’t resist asking her after she had one of her many cosmetic surgeries: “You look like a million dollars. Is that how much it cost?”

It seems strange that this most witty of broadcasters has not previously done stand-up, but it’s not his first time at the Fringe: he is also performing Whose Line Is It Anyway? here and first performed in 1974 with the Footlights, when his planned monologue was binned. 

So here he is 45 years later, in Highlander gear of breeks, kilt and feathered bonnet, to deliver the “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” speech from Macbeth. He does it, as you might imagine, impeccably.

Until 25 August

Goodbear Pleasance Dome ****

Goodbear are Henry Perryment  and Joe Barnes (formerly of Minor Delays) and their narrative sketch comedy is alway a delight. After taking a year off from the Fringe, they’re back with Dougal, more of their physical, clever and meta comedy.

At the top of the show the pair, dressed in Pleasance venue workers’ T-shirts, tell us that Goodbear haven’t turned up so they will pass the time before they arrive. They enlist the help of “Dougal”, the sound tech, to pass the time.

So their show begins with the two mucking around on stage, and after Henry cocks an imaginary gun they compete to see who can fake the best death. What follows is 20-odd scenes and sketches, some of which flow loosely into each other, others that end abruptly with a lighting change or a sound cue. 

The wonderfully diverse subject matter includes sensitive chimps, complicated Roman names, killer robots, a pretentious US comic and a couple finding the perfect location for a proposal.  

Not all the sketches have a strong punchline but no matter. This is strongly written and performed comedy with a high gag quotient - visual and verbal - and well worth an hour of your time.

Until 25 August

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