Review – Arthur Smith’s Pissed-Up Chat Show, Pleasance Dome

Wednesday 17 August 2011

You can’t imagine why the Whingers selected this one, can you?

This sounded very much our cup of cheers: a live chat show with celebrity guests in a bar hosted by the usually reliable Arthur Smith; the perfect excuse to knock back a few drinks and round off an evening.

But this was more of a cocked-up than a Pissed-Up chat Show.

Each guest is invited to take a breathalyser test as Smith interviews them and there are various riffs on the dangers of too much drinking.

And there lies part of the problem. While you’re sitting there knocking back the alcohol you don’t really want to be shown the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy liver do you? You’d rather be clutching your sides with laughter than feeling to see if you have one left.

Smith has given up drinking, one of his guests on the show we saw Art Malik was also teetotal, so it was really left to the other guests – Malik’s daughter Keira (appearing on the Fringe together in Rose) and Fish from Marillion – to fly the flag a bit.

One audience member was invited to blow into the device but sadly neither Whinger was selected on this occasion. Perhaps this being the Fringe they can’t stretch to a backup machine and felt it was too risky.

But the tone, which feels a bit preachy, was made even worse by the feeling of unpreparedness from Smith who rambled through the evening referring to notes on a bit of paper and even then failing to get the name of his guest musician right. Is he sure he’s given up the sauce? If he has, perhaps he should consider going back on it.

As it happens, Fish (AKA Derek Dick) provided the most interesting chat and seemed a very likeable chap. But the evening was almost saved from being a complete shambles by Smith’s besuited side-kick Derek from the fictional Scottish Licensing Agency who provided most of the real laughs.

Of course as the guests vary every night so no two shows will be the same, but the whole drinks issue seemed counter-productive, rather than over-the-counter, to the proceedings.

Dispiriting in both senses.


6 Responses to “Review – Arthur Smith’s Pissed-Up Chat Show, Pleasance Dome”

  1. Janet Clegg Says:

    We saw the show with guest Bryony Kimmings and Bill Coles. We left after 25 minutes ( with others.) Bill Coles was very drunk and distinctly unfunny ( what is funny about a very drunk person unless it is a post party discussion in the comfort of your own home???). We felt it was like a medieval bear baiting show- that is- laugh at the freak and delight in their discomfort.
    Arthur Smith – you should be ashamed of yourself.

  2. Man with van Says:

    I seen this chap at 0645 this morning smoking a fag outside the bedlam theater looking miserable !

  3. Ceilidh Says:

    This was definitely the low point of my Fringe experience too. It was a failed experiment and to be honest, I’m pretty disappointed in Smith for making people pay to see something this mediocre. Everybody should save their money and go see Vikki Stone instead.

  4. Mike Wardle Says:

    I took 6 pals (none of whom had ever visited the fringe before) to Edinburgh and this was our ‘headline’ show.
    The several reminders about the perils of drinking e.g the liver comparisons were not appreciated. It’s a 10 p.m Edinburgh comedy show FFS, the whole audience is half-cut.
    On Saturday he had 3 guests on. 1 was a doctor who had not had a drink and continued the theme of preaching moderation. The 2nd was driving home so had had one drink and hardly registered on the breathalyser – the complete opposite of the whole point of the show.
    Smith was no more than a conductor of the shambles and (for a comic of his experience) did nothing to rescue it.
    He’s either at a low point and really needs the cash or has no pride in his craft. What a pile of shit !

  5. John Says:

    Sadly Arthur is a dinosaur and just not very funny. Badly prepared, ill conceived and little work to get decent guests. Pathetic.

  6. Christine Says:

    I saw this show on Friday 26 Aug. The first guest, Tom Allen, was very personable, but then Richard Herring came on and was allowed to speak for far too long about his dating experiences. Smith was like a lazy pupil who hasn’t bothered to prepare his performance because he thinks he’s good enough to wing it. It didn’t work.This was my first Fringe show and I felt slightly cheated. Only Derek saved the day.

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