EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT
NORTHERN IRELAND BUT WERE TOO TERRORISED TO ASK
Festival Club, Edinburgh
August, 1992

Belfast's Hole In The Wall comedy company prides itself on leaving no sacred cows unslaughtered. Its sketches and stand-up routines poke merciless fun at all parties involved in Ulster's problems. Beside the Irish jokes, the repartee includes a Blind Date take-off Bishop Casey competing with David Mellor and Paddy Ashdown for the attentions of Fergie and a Sportsnight-style running commentary on a production of Macbeth (the archetypal Troubles play). The company knows how to programme its set to support its weaker material: they close each routine on a high note, notably a sketch with the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad glee club singing, "If you're Irish, Come Into The Courtroom". Not surprisingly, many in their homeland (and mine) dislike them; many more, however, applaud their irreverence and nerve.

Written for The Independent.

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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