I had heard some good reports about Alfie’s stand-up before the show. Sadly, the evening was a bit of a let down as Alfie harangued the audience throughout the show and there was no cohesion to his material.
I can understand the picking on latecomers, as they are fair game for any comic, but the point in the show where he tried to start a debate on the government’s benefit changes and then told us to shut up so he could get back to the show was where he lost me. He also kept blaming us for not laughing enough at his jokes and constantly lost the thread of his conversation He veered from ranty, ill formed political statements, to how our lives are wasted and we’re all going to die pointlessly, to whining about his recent marriage and how crap sex is, to jumping into the audience and trying to make us uncomfortable with the empty stage.
He did say at one point that he was criticised last year for being too clever and not funny enough. Well, he’s lost the clever part. I can only hope it was a bad night for him and that his humour is not found solely through picking on the very people who have paid to see him (yes, I know Jason Byrne and Brendon Burns have made careers out of audience abuse but that doesn’t always make it funny). I would be interested to see what the other reviewer in the room (who sat next to me with a notepad) writes about this show, as she gave up writing anything at about the twenty minute mark and just sat there with her arms folded).
The Revolting Youth is on at Underbelly, Cowgate at 9.10pm