It was on Tuesday I went to
see the first of the shows on my must see list. The show in question was What’s The Tory Mourning Glory? by Yorkshire based comedian James Christopher.
To be fair James is on my must see list every year and has been since I first saw him back in 2012 and has become a member of my August family. This year’s production was a different type of show for James who departed from his usual gentle style of what I would call comfort zone comedy. You know, the kind of show you could take your granny to see. Indeed his fiancé Maxi who is a talented comedienne herself, said to me You’ll be proud of James this year he’s doing an adult show about real issues and she was right because James tackled the recent Brexit vote for Britain to leave the European Union and they don’t come more current or topical than that.
From the moment he came on stage to the backdrop of Oasis songs this was a man on form and as he asked What’s the Tory mourning glory? a pun on one of the best albums ever made in my opinion, James commanded his audience with that confident yet relaxed delivery which has always been his trademark.
James started by asking his audience if they remembered where they were when they heard the result. It seems that on this occasion at least that he had quite a few sensible audience members in attendance who unlike this political activist said that they had went to bed and the first they had heard of it was on the news bulletins the following morning. Yes I confess I was one of those who had stayed up until the bad news was officially delivered.
Our man then asked how we had voted in the referendum and there was an almighty sigh of relief when we found out that practically every audience member had like James voted to remain in Europe. However as James said disappointed as we are we’ll just have to Roll With It and it was important we Don’t Look Back In Anger. Yes I know I know Some Might Say these puns are a wee bit cheesy but this is my blog and I’ll give my review my way and I happen to like them so there staying in.
James said that there would would no doubt be some people who would say he was a peace loving, leftie , liberal, Guardian reading stoner and he would admit to all of those things except one as he is no longer a Guardian reader since they’ve taken a disturbing turn to the right.
With the show now well and truly under way James reminded us that is was important that we didn’t stereotype all leave voters as elderly racists though to be honest a significant number of them were elderly racists and it was difficult to understand why places like Hartlepool would listen to the Tories as they aren’t exactly well placed to benefit from the British Brexit.
The bold James then talked of the consequences of Brexit. which he correctly in my opinion claimed was caused by anti immigrant opinion, as a section of voters blamed Foreigners for rise in foodbanks and cuts in the benefits system rather than blaming The Tory Party and their austerity cuts. These he said were people whose political views were formed by right wing papers such as the Daily Mail.
In a very clreference to Daily Mail readers he said they are the kind of people who believe they’ve done everything right. They’ve went to the right schools, got the right jobs, married the right partners, live in the right places, had the right children, and in general just lived the right lives. Having told us this he then asked us to imagine what it would be like for them to imagine they could get anything wrong. Personally I can imagine this happening on a fairly regular basis whether they would agree with me however is a different matter entirely.
In an excellent and entertaining show a confident and composed Mr Christopher refused to panic when an audience member who was obviously a member of the grammar police corrected him on a technical point that the SNP were not the Scottish Nationalist Party but the Scottish National Party. Instead of worrying he dealt with it with the good humour for which he known and said that with such an educated audience his show would be the most factually accurate show at the fringe. I have to say in all my years of attending the madness that is and always will be forever Edinburgh I have never heard a classier comeback.
This was the mark of a polished performer whose show covered this significant historical event from all angles with clever and witty references on everything from Guardian readers, to Glastonbury, from Nicola Sturgeon, and Scotland’s vote to remain to David Cameron, Boris Johnson, The Daily Mail, and of course UKIP. This was topical comedy at its best and I thought his portrayal of Boris Johnson being the foreign secretary who doesn’t like anyone was both brilliantly funny and devastatingly accurate.
This was I have to say a very enjoyable way to spend an hour and make no mistake my first show as an audience member was a good one.
This was a show where a stream of one liners flowed in to the river of comedy and made waves on the intelligence of the audience even if it wasn’t the show James had originally planned to bring to the fringe this year. That of course was because nobody had anticipated the EU Referendum turning out in the way that it did. Everyone I know had expected Remain to win the day in which case James would have stuck with his original plan and I would have been reviewing a show on David Cameron and George Osborne’s austerity cuts. However it was a famous Scottish poet by the name of Robert Burns who said something profound about the best laid plans not turning out as we would have thought but sometimes events mean a last minute change and writing a brand new script. Strange as it seems that exactly what happened and James made it work by lifting the Brexit Blues.
Love And Best Wishes