In the lead up to this show I was surprised at the number of people that I spoke to who didn’t really know who Alexei Sayle was. Most looked at me blankly, the person working in the cheese toastie stall at the venue had heard the name but wasn’t sure and only a couple were fans. Despite this, the show is almost sold out for it’s Fringe run. So I was glad I managed to get a ticket and took my place alongside a load of Jeremy Corbyn lookalikes and Hardeep Singh Kohli for the relaunch of the father of alternative comedy.
From the beginning you can tell he’s a little bit rusty, but remaining unpolished after all these years is a huge part of the charm and why this performance is different from the majority of other comics you’ll see at the Fringe. He manages to pack in topic after topic, switching focus every few lines. Some extra time is spent on an argument with a prostitute about his Santa Claus like appearance, why’s he’s never been on Question Time (he’d just call them all cunts, the audience concurred), things named after the queen (there’s too many of them) and pushing right wing comedians and TV shows off television in the 80s, for this the country and Fringe audiences in particular owe him massively. His best material is reserved for attacking modern comedians, Michael McIntyre, Jack Whitehall and Peter Kay in particular.
All in he remains one of the best ranters on the Fringe and there’s always something magical in seeing a comedy legend perform. If you’re looking for something slick, this definitely won’t be for you. But if you’ve found yourself a little bored by general observational comedy there might be something in this for you.