Lorenzo Pacitti

Edinburgh Fringe review: John Scott & Viv Gee, Anything’s Better Than These Cunts

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It’s as good a month as you’re ever going to get to be a Scottish political satirist right now. John Scott and Viv Gee enter the fray with a fairly no nonsense show title which let’s you know exactly what you’re in for.

While there is clear and regular support for a Yes vote in September, the show is really, as it states, mostly a look at the state of our current situation. With a focus almost exclusively on Scotland, the show proposes that with a Yes vote, we might not know quite what we are heading in to, but we know what we’d be getting away from.

The show is split into two individual stand-up sets from Viv and John respectively, so they are more of a comedy partnership than a double act. Viv has the difficult task of winning round an audience who, after an initial show of hands is mostly in the No/undecided camp.

This seems to throw off the effectiveness of some her early material – that and the late arrival of some baffled English teens. However she grows into the performance and leaves the stage having turned what could have been a difficult room into a smiling and laughing bunch, many shaking her hand as she gives way to John on stage.

John, given a warm room, hits the ground running with quick-fire gags that prove to be big hits with the audience, before opening up to more genuine and angry material. John seems to be the more politically conscious and active member of the two, on a real mission to change minds and challenge the stubborn in the audience.

What’s clear is that by the end of the show there is a lot of shared ground between Scottish voters, regardless of Yes or No. Some of the material can be a bit base-level satire and ‘fuck the rich’, but it’s all well-meaning and mostly very funny.


Date of live review: 18 August 2014 @ The Beehive

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