Reviewer: Simon Topping
Mitch Benn is on the horns of a dilemma. For him satire is experiencing both the best of times and the worst of times; there is so much fodder for him to craft his comedy from, he explains, but sadly most of it is so bloody depressing at the moment. When you’re a comedian this is indeed a difficult circle to square, one which Benn doesn’t entirely achieve, in an hour set filled with fabulous songs and silly moments but weighted down by the polarised political modern times.
Predominantly consisting of Benn’s 2018 Edinburgh Fringe material, his prowess as a songsmith shines. Starting with a chucklesome ditty about why he has named the show Doing it on Purpose, Benn gets the crowd on board. “Welcome to an hour of futility and despair!” he continues, as the room gets ready for a good deal of soapboxing.
It is no secret Benn is not happy with the status quo and with the rising of far-right factions across Europe, the fiasco of Brexit and persistence of Donald Trump, he has every right to be thoroughly miffed. These well travelled routes of the political climate are explored in the show. Particularly funny is the section on Brexit and the fabulous anarchic term “gloat wanking”, which Benn aims at the leavers.
Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t escape Benn’s ire, he’s just as annoyed with the opposition as with the governing party. Trump gets a roasting as does the Alt-right and flat earthers.
Shouty and indignant in tone, most of the political discourse get nods of approval from the gathering. However, the real fun lies in his less worthy commentary; theme tunes for party leaders, getting stuck in a song loop and the snippets he shares about his own life, especially when he extols the virtues of being protected by his short, no-nonsense Scottish girlfriend, all have the room in fits of laughter and lift the piece into the realms of the fabulous; which prove, that after twenty years in entertainment Benn is still a funny comedian
Reviewed on 19 May 2019 | Image: Contributed