You are, as an audience, totally safe in the comedy hands of Alistair Barrie. He is having great fun this year and it shows. And it means we have great fun too. In this deliberately wide-ranging show he has an absolutely hilarious explanation of the Celtic Tiger economy, an elephant porn section, a relationship moment, some current(ish) affairs and a chunk of absolutely new material, the subject of which is given to him the previous day by a member of the audience. And so we got a very funny five minutes on “The Queen’s New Baby” thanks to Lucy the previous night.
Barrie is a marvelous mainstream comic with a genuinely commanding stage presence. There are no real lulls in his hour, his political material is intelligent and his observational stuff hit home whether the resulting laughter of recognition came from fellow sufferers from hair-trigger bladders and blue fluff or those who had experienced the perils of letting your partner move in with you. Apparently Radio 4 don’t think he is their type of comic. I really think they should think again. This is properly smart comedy for grown ups. By a properly smart comic.
Sometimes I wonder about the justice in the comedy world. Alistair Barrie for me is a great comic and yet although garnering 5 star reviews and being runner-up in a big comedy award last year’s Fringe cost him ten grand.
This year Barrie has become another who has taken to the Free Fringe where he seems to be having fun, getting big audiences and not getting a small country's national debt along the way.
Barrie is a topical comic so there is a whole raft of material on recent events even though he missed a lot while on holiday, he talks nationalities and politics, the weather and sporting triumphs together with writing a new segment of material based on audience suggestion daily.
But a large part was devoted to getting older, he’s a mere stripling of 41, and the changes that have taken place in his life since moving in with his girlfriend. No matter what he is talking about it is well written, keenly observed and bitingly funny and delivered as only he can. Surely this is a must see show for any thinking individual. As part of the Free Fringe entry is free but a bucket collection is made prior to leaving. With some tickets elsewhere costing £15-00 surely a foldable donation is in order for this quality show.