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Erich McElroy is Presidential, Slug and Lettuce Southbank

Written and Performed by Erich McElroy
★★★

Pros: Crammed with interesting facts, amusing comparisons and bawdy humour. Very well woven together.

Cons: Light on his own content while relying too heavily on asides about the media.

Our Verdict: An entertaining show which will have you smirking and sighing at the insanity of American politics.

Courtesy of Erich McElroy

It’s a warm summer evening so sitting in a basement of a Slug and Lettuce bar doesn’t feel that appealing – until Erich McElroy enters the stage. This is a fast paced stand-up comedy set where Mr McElroy has pulled out the gaffs and absurdities of American politics for your inspection. If politicians don’t already make you cringe, the targets of this show will, as they are either totally oblivious to their blunders or really should know better. It’s clear Mr McElroy is fascinated by the fanfare that surrounds American politics and, as an immigrant to Britain, knows exactly what will make us laugh and sigh.

It feels like a one-man Have I Got News For You which is certainly no bad thing, but the majority of the funny, gasp-able parts, are from material that already exists that Mr McElroy is just bringing to our attention. This is a shame because when he does set up his longer jokes they’re more amusing than his asides to the media which seem more like frustration than well constructed comedy.

His punch-lines cleverly play on your sense of the taboo – he’s a white, straight man, making jokes about other communities, LGBT and feminism. Can you see that I’ve just written very politically correct terms? He understands that the British feel qualms discussing such things and plays our sensibilities. He is very positive and never insulting but uses the anticipation to keep our focus and a punch line which relieves that tension.

It was commendable how he was able to keep our attention considering he was using photos and videos – he was never too distracted in using the technology, he never broke the mood or messed up the timing and our attention flipped between the screen and Mr McElroy as he intended. Some attention was lost with heckling. By inviting conversation, albeit in a friendly and welcoming way he also invited confident audience members to interrupt. As his style is very word intensive two or more people would be speaking together. Mr McElroy is a welcoming host who wants to talk, not bully the audience. While nice in one way, it does allow hecklers their dominance and these particular ones didn’t add anything to the show.

It is tempting to be put off by a set about politics but Erich McElroy is Presidential is bawdy rather than boring (because a few penis jokes always lighten the mood, yet he manages never to cross the line into crass). Mr McElroy is a skilful comedian who delivers a smooth and enjoyable ride which makes for an amusing and light evening.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!  

Erich McElroy is Presidential will run at The Camden Head as part of the Camden Fringe from 14th until 19th August 2013.
Box Office: 02074854019 or book online http://camdenfringe.com/details.php?acts_id=173

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Founded in 2011, Everything Theatre started life as a pokey blog run by two theatre enthusiasts and – thanks to the Entry Pass Scheme for 16-25 year olds – regular National Theatre goers. Today, we are run by part-time volunteers from a wide array of backgrounds. Among our various contributors are people who work in theatre, but also people who work in law, medicine, events, marketing and even psychiatry! We are all united by our love for the London theatre scene.