Science meets comedy in a spectacular experiment 00...
As a punter at the Fringe, value for money is everything. Limited budgets and restricted time mean that not everyone is going to get to see everything they want, no matter how much they try. A tenner and an hour wasted could mean the difference between a good day out and wishing you’d stayed at home to watch Big Brother. Similarly, there are moments in a critic’s life when you need reminding just what all the fuss is about. For comedy reviewers that’s usually about ten shows into Edinburgh with nothing more than a series of two-stars to show for it. Chris Addison jogs our memories that really great comics can give us both quantity and quality with effortless ease.
To be honest, that’s a bit of an understatement. Addison has serious verbal diarrhoea. He manages to cram in enough chat during 60 minutes to fill an entire day’s worth of Fringe shows. He plays to a very particular brand of middle-class Guardian reader and finds himself out on the brink of smug several times in his hour, only to bring himself back. For a silly, smart-arsed posh lad, he’s immensely Iikeable.
Atomicity is his latest conceit, an attempt to explore the unfashionable world of science and ask why people are so afraid of it. Rather than being a propagandist for put-upon Standard Grade biology teachers everywhere, this is more a celebration of the very atoms of life. We are all made up of little bits of matter. . . and they do indeed matter. And are bloody funny if you look at them in the right way. His willingness to veer off at nonsensical tangents is what gives Addison’s rants further charm. While trying to reinforce the significance of man discovering the patterns in human DNA, he’s off re- enacting wars fought by exclusively gay men and gay bombs.
Addison’s inherent nosiness combined with his absolutely compelling delivery would even make any class of bored Sixth Years sit up and pay attention. Science isn’t so much fun in itself but Addison utilises our reactions (and inaction) to the scientific world as a springboard for all manner of astute observations. And you come away feeling better at the world and possibly knowing a little bit more about it. Who would have thought learning would be this much fun? (Mark Robertson)
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'I\ ..: THE LIST FESTIVAL MAGAZINE 27