Review: Fred MacAulay: Legally Bald 2 – The Stand (3), Edinburgh.
Fred MacAulay has generously decided to leave the noisy cooling fans humming away for the duration of his show. It’s a good job he does, as the crowded Stand 3 is made even more stifling by the humid August weather. Striding onto the stage, Scottish radio stalwart MacAuley introduces Legally Bald 2, the follow up to the veteran DJ’s sell out show of last year.
“I don’t get many students,” Fred admits, conducting a survey of the room to establish how many of his crowd are under the age of 25. 8 people raise their hands. The audience is predominantly, painfully middle age, a fact that dominates the slightly old-fashioned selection of material on offer. Tired topics liberally mined include the fact that train staff are often unhelpful, Scottish people use the word ‘cunt’ a lot and that it was fairly difficult to acquire Olympic tickets earlier in the year.
In an attempt to redress this, MacAulay occasionally dips his toe into the political realm. A language based joke about Mitt Romney flies straight over the heads of the audience, which is a shame as it is probably the highlight of the performance. And financial breakdown of the costs involved to produce a Fringe show is provided, tied in hazily with Jimmy Carr and George Osborne based jabs.
To be fair, MacAulay knows the crowd he is catering for, expertly weaving gently amusing anecdotes with wry, cantankerous Scottish humour. The problem is, however, that we have all been here before. The odd sharp gag cannot compensate for the abundance of filler padding out the show. A scientific discussion about brain potential goes nowhere slowly, while the reference to a Billy Connolly gag is unwise, shining an unfavourable light on the disparity between the two comedians.
Legally Bald 2 is a classic case of a performer becoming too familiar with audience expectations, a paucity of new ideas characterising the material on offer. Retreading tired material for easy laughs, MacAulay provides an hour of comedy that sticks painfully to the beaten track.
Date of live review: Saturday 11th August 2012.