Liam Withnail had a dream 2019 Fringe. Sell-out shows every day, five-star reviews and an Amused Moose comedy award to top it off. He entered 2020 with huge momentum, signing with a management team and planning shows in huge venues. We all know what happened next. Now Withnail finds himself at the 2022 Fringe gigging above a steak restaurant, but, thankfully, he’s managed to find some things to laugh about in the situation.
When the pandemic made his profession illegal overnight, he had to find other ways to spark joy and for him, that was a daily lunchtime Deliveroo. His wife, a key worker, found this cute at first but soon Withnail found himself squirrelling away the evidence before she got back from her shift. A cheeky Dominos may have helped to break up the tedium but after you hear the comedian’s take on the crust dip, you may never look at it in the same way again. Withnail also found himself supporting art in his own way, by paying for porn. The subscription helps alleviate any shame, and now he’s not pestered by the targeted ads.
Withnail did manage one gig during the pandemic, a deranged drive-in comedy show described in great, horrific detail. Having been a gigging comic for a decade he must have had some dreadful shows, but playing to a field of cars really does take the biscuit. The comedian and compere is great with the crowd, feeding off their energy and you can tell he’s in his element back on stage.
In Hot Sauce, the comic takes us through training for the London Marathon, and a test of true love that his wife undertakes after the race when there is an unexpected event. Withnail is always great at finding humour in big subjects and a health scare and very intimate examination are played to full effect. Thankfully Withnail is in good health and back on stage where he belongs. And those big venues can’t be far away.His enthusiasm is infectious and the audience is happy to be swept along on a wave of punchlines.