EDINBURGH REVIEW!: Liam Mullone: Down To The Bone

Liam Mullone: Down To The Bone

Liam Mullone is an intellectual bruiser of a comedian, taking an uncompromisingly hardline approach to his subject matter – and if the result sounds a bit brutal, well… so be it.

The best example of this is the incident he regales when a self-righteous middle-class mother tutted at him for the carbon footprint of his vehicle, sparking a vicious invective about the environmental impact her brood of six will have over their lifetimes. Well, you can’t fault his logic, even if you might question his politeness.

At the time he was childless so could occupy the moral high ground. Now he has five-month-old twins – and no, that’s not a cause for celebration from this grumpy, selfish rationalist. Even at the moment of their birth he found it difficult to raise much interest.

One upshot of fatherhood is that family budgets means he’s now playing the Free Festival, in a room in which so much sound bleeds in from the raucous room next door, it frequently distracts from his finely-tuned arguments. But persevere, and you’ll hear some smart, bitter comedy worthy of a much more respectful venue. Besides, the ignominy he sees in performing in this room only adds to his bile.

He’s unashamedly middle-class, and claims to hate the working class – and even puts up a reasonably convincing argument for it. It revolves around the concept of a ‘deserving poor’ that some might find unpalatable, but Mullone’s ethos is that you should always be responsible for your own actions. His take on how some people meaninglessly demand respect and honour without being worthy of such qualities is a piece that will resonate loudly.

More classic pieces come from his unsympathetic take on the death of human cannonball Matt Cranch earlier this year, and a routine considering the relative ages of the respective world religions; Christianity now an apathetic young adult, Islam a rambunctious, surly and rebellious teen. Now and again he comments on his own set ‘not funny, but quite interesting’ – which may be true, but he’s always one or the other. Even when giving a rather clichéd teenage comeback to being told by his parents ‘you teach this place like a hotel’, Mullone adds an extra twist or two. Classy stuff.

Review by Steve Bennett ★ = ? ☆ = ?

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