Edinburgh Fringe Review: Michael Legge, The Stand

Michael Legge

****

I had a bad feeling about this gig. Excitable Facebook recommendations from friends of the performer never work for me even if they declare an interest and Legge had an armful of them. But anyway, you’ve already seen the stars at the top of this review so you know I’m about to recommend Tell It Like It Is, Steve*. And I’m definitely not a friend of that stupid vegan twat Michael Legge.

Legge usually has a bit of a laugh in Edinburgh, but this year he seems to have taken it seriously and rather than scrawl down some notes on the train here he really has written a proper professional show, with some blisteringly funny stories and some glorious piss-taking of the comedy industry.

After coming on all uncharacteristically jolly and explaining that he is in the lucky room where Bridget Christie and Tony Law did their award-garlanded shows, hint hint, he reverts to misanthropic type with a wonderful story of how he went away to write this set. 

While the likes of Hemingway and Orwell found suitably bohemian boltholes, Legge ended up in Kavos. It was only when he arrived that he realised he was trapped on an island full of ejaculating twentysomethings. His portrait of his time in hell is a sheer delight. The bad hotel room, the bad bars, the bad cocktails. And the ejaculating twentysomethings.

It’s easy, of course, to get laughs out of Trip Advisor reviews, but Legge's withering, sardonic rage adds an extra edge to the two star write-ups. It also gives him a chance to have a poke at Fringe critics and their rating system. One of the other themes that runs through the show is his mix of contempt and desire for awards. He hates shows with a message, but maybe you need one to get the attention of the judges.

The other meat – sorry, Michael – of the set is about how one should never meet – sorry again, Michael – your heroes. Legge has and it has never gone well. At best he has been told to fuck off. But then we don’t get to hear his hero’s side of the story. Spare a thought for them, they had to meet Michael Legge.

So is there a message to his show? Yes and no and yes and no. You never quite know when he is being serious, which is half the fun. But I can at least give the readers of this review a message. If you like your comedy angry and daft with a undercurrent of intelligence and vegan conscience, get along and cheer up Michael Legge.

Until August 30. Tickets here.

Here is an interview with Michael Legge in which he talks about his mum a lot.

*Spoiler alert. Marillion reference.

 

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