Review: Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee says during this date on a lengthy tour of his Content Provider show that runs into 2018 that he wants to give the illusion of structure.

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 10:35 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:48 am

Festival Theatre, Nicholson Street

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But it’s definitely no illusion, with a set that masterfully weaves together subjects like Brexit, bondage and, inevitably, bringing down some of his grating comedy contemporaries a peg or two. There are some nods to the local crowd, with Morningside coming off worse for wear, and his controversial shopping habits when he’s in the city during August. The “post-fact” era with growing political division also gives him plenty to get his teeth into, while the narcissism, consumerism and rapidly shortening attention spans of the smartphone generation gain plenty of (admittedly deserving) bile. He also jokes that now he’s playing the bigger venues, it’s meaning the wrong type of people are getting dragged along wondering where the proper jokes are. But despite a prolonged riff on how one part of the audience wasn’t keeping up, this show, with its conclusion proving the structure really is watertight, makes it clear, it were needed, that Lee is a worthy holder of the title he wryly highlights of one of the UK’s most critically acclaimed stand-ups.