There’s been no grand scheme, just “fun and dicking around,” sums up Andy Field as he prepares to launch into his deliberately lo-fi finale. In fact, his only big idea has been to throw all his big ideas into a show and see how we get on. And we get on well, as it happens.
It’s all pretty breezy with Field. He cuts a striking figure that suggests intense zaniness but the chat’s dead casual: “you seen the Exorcist?” – a line of questioning seemingly heading nowhere until he sets off riffing brilliantly on one of its most famous lines. And his anecdotes are down-the-pub funny, like he’s back from the bar ready to spill the beans about tripping in Tesco’s or the time he shat himself. They’re not deep, they’re not clever, the latter has you creased out of second-hand embarrassment more than anything, but he knows his way round them and gets you on board with the overshare.
Then there’s the pure dicking around. He’s based a series of one-and-done characters around weak puns that are so contrived they go full circle and become funny again. And he’s splashed a miniscule props budget on unrelated items that he just fancied getting a laugh out of. With that kind of as-the-crow-flies comedy, there’s no danger here of him throwing in a sad bit.
This night, perhaps not every night, it skews a little insider-y, with Field sniping at various aspects of the Fringe itself. Some revelations make for fascinating gossip in these quarters, but how much it appeals to the casual Fringe-goer is debatable.
As for the lo-fi finale, it’s lame as hell in theory, but hilarious in execution, proving that this ideas man knows a lightbulb moment when he sees one.