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Review: Simon Evans, Dressing for Dinner (Assembly Studios)

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

Evans is back at the fringe, bringing with it his recognisable brand of cynical, shake your first at the modern world comedy...and it is a treat.

Simon Evans takes to the stage in tweed. Tweed hat and tweed jacket which, he remarks, is probably a metaphor for something. Tweed looks from a distance to be nice and conservative, but when you get up close you realise it's a neatly woven fabric of many different colours. A hippie dress compared to his normal suit and tie formality.

For me, one of the few under forties in the room, listening to Evans is like listening to a family friend at a party who's a little more right wing than they let on, but is bloody good fun all the same. I'm not even sure Evans is right wing, he takes Theresa May down the same number of pegs as Corbyn; accurately noting that you'd be shocked to discover your Geography teacher had a 2:2 in Geography, let alone your former Prime Minister. He is in his fifties and has developed an enthralling level of frustration with modern life, feeling as though he has found himself in a world without any true geniuses left in it. Particularly annoyed at identity politics and tribalism, with everyone's need to identify en masse, Evans is an only child and considers himself, quite happily, as himself. He gives a fantastically self aware analogy for how 21st Century gender politics is viewed by people of his generation, comparing it to technology that was around when you were growing up (the norm), things that arrived in your twenties (exciting and potentially life enhancing new creations) and anything that arrives after your thirties (scary and pointless). Happily I myself am in my twenties and can confirm that I am rather enjoying the new wave of gender freedom as something that makes people happier, and I expect in reality Evans does too.

For he is playful, not mean, with his probing observations. With a twinkle in his eye, the final third of the performance transcends from stand up comedy to breathtaking storytelling. It's still funny, very much so, but it sheds new light on Evans' previous ideas about being part of a group. It is truly a remarkable story, and looking back it seems everything he says beforehand is preparing you for his autobiographical revelation. I won't say what it is that happens, that would be silly. You can find out for yourself.

SImon Evans: Dressing for Dinner is on at Assembly George Square Studios - Three at 20:15, until the 25th August. Tickets available here -

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