Andrew Maxwell - Waxin', Pleasance
The deceptively charming Irishman returns! In the preview I saw, Maxwell upped the whimsy content over last year's, more hard-edged "Round Twilight", and "Waxin'" was all the better for it. That's not to say that there isn't still plenty here to offend (with a wide variety of religions particularly mocked and a fair deal of swearing) but the more even balance between the message material and the mischievous material is beneficial. Coupled with the rapport Maxwell can build with an audience he's only a couple of steps off the pace of the great days of Billy Connolly.
Certainly his set pieces on the pride the people of Cork have in their city, his upcoming "charitable" appearances and the etiquette of Hampstead Heath's swimming ponds are the stuff of Parky-style anecdotage and Maxwell's free-wheeling style allows him to digress hilariously from these onto a variety of excellent side gags. With his "Leith schemie" accent already legendary, Maxwell also threw in Scouse, Slovak, Glaswegian, Orcadian, Jamaican and a number of Irish accents to great comic effect.
With good basic material and the tightening of the show's structure that should come during the previews, this just may be Andrew Maxwell's year.
NTW : The meandering can go down a few "but, you know..." or "it's crazy, isn't it?" blind alleys.
JTD : Skag-a-job week - brilliant ideas, brilliant gags, brilliant physicality - a miniature masterpiece.