Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 2000

An hour and a half later on the night I saw him, and Scott Capurro could have chalked up a full house of walk-outs on the blackboard which he now keeps on stage to tally such departures but the fire alarm came after his show had ended.

Capurro has received a lot of press this year for pushing his shock tactics further than ever yet his one attack by a punter, who emptied a pint of beer over him, came not for any of the numerous remarks such as "Holocaust, schmolocaust" (Capurro recently discovered Jewish blood in his ancestry) or "Jesus made me gay", but for badmouthing the Queen Mum. Paradoxically, it is the nakedness of his desire to shock which, combined with his thoroughly winning bitch-queen persona, keeps us more or less on-side throughout the hour.

A little under half of his set is standard Scott: forthright observations on his family and on gay sex; perhaps the sharpest single line (for an Edinburgh run, at least) is "I'm queer and I'm teaching you something that's illegal!" The edgier material is designed to bear out his repeated mantra about the PC oppression whereby "You can't make fun of anyone any more", but it seems too programmatic and calculated to always be funny. I know what he's trying to do, and applaud it; but, in hurling himself so headlong at his target, he pulls off his objective only partially. He's damn good, but he's also better than this.

Written for the Financial Times Web site,

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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