Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** "Comedy for people who read." Sharp political material.

At the beginning of his run, Durst was still working out his set, but his anger and ridicule are still things of joy.

He begins by talking about baby boomers, setting the show in a generational context, before getting to the meat of the matter: the atrocities and absurdities of the Bush government. Durst has an easy, relaxed manner even when yelling in disbelief, so we have no problems in accepting that we are "the trial audience" and he is tweaking his set as he goes along.

It's been several years far too long since he last played Edinburgh, so initially he doesn't quite remember that British audiences are more at home with savage material than his American compatriots. There's no need for him to keep sugaring the pill, drawing back from the edge or interspersing his Bush material with segments on how the countries America is combatting aren't actually much cop either. Here he can really indulge his most mordant desires, as when pointing out that Attorney general John Ashcroft lost his Senate seat to a candidate who was in fact dead, and the electorate knew this as they voted for the corpse rather than Ashcroft. Finest one-liner, on Bush and the pretzel affair: "Even Gerald Ford could CHEW!"

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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