21 August 2006

Telly's for sellouts!

Andy Zaltzman Detonates 70 Minutes of Unbridled Afternoon, The Stand

Structure, structure, structure, material, material, material. It seems so easy written down, but the truth is that very few acts I've seen at Edinburgh this year have managed to put that magic formula into practice. Andy Zaltzman has, and how !

All the more remarkable is this achievement, considering this show was conceived, written and rehearsed as a duo with John Oliver. In truth it was Oliver who led me to Zaltzman, but with the former seduced by the bright lights of New York City it has been left to the latter to wow the Edinburgh crowds.

And wow them he does with pin-sharp yet playful political satire. A big laugh roughly once a minute and above all images and ideas to set the imagination racing. As a taste, Zaltzman suggests such brilliant concepts as a Subbuteo Home Office, the retrospective purchasing of sporting victories and John Reid's nightwear, as well as comparing bad voting judgement to a hangover and casting aspertions on the Rolling Stones' social beliefs.

Andy Zaltzman may bemoan the state of the world but, thanks to him, for 70 minutes every day until 28 August things will be just dandy.

NTW : Alas, the show ended!

JTD :So many to choose from; the Zaltzman Encyclopaedia of Explanatory Bullshit, the Interval quiz, the inspired ending...the list goes on.

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