Magnus Betnér Live: Fringe Review

magnus-betner-live_24430Could Have Been Betnér

3/5

Magnus Betnér is not for the faint hearted. The two-time winner of Swedish comedian of the year is back in Edinburgh to present another hour of no-holds-barred comedy. As he announces that he did not promise an hour of laughs but instead an hour of interesting topics, his frankness and ability to analyse tabooed subjects in a different light provides justification for his steadily increasing popularity.

One could be quick to denounce Betnér due to the way he explores the ins and outs of a number of sensitive issues, however, much of what he says strikes a chord. He does not expound the problems of what he refers to as black AIDS in order to make a cheap joke, but instead to point out how ridiculous the West is for not doing more than it could to help. This method of taking delicate subjects and turning your preconceptions of them on their head is continued throughout.

However, the show definitely lacks structure and is presented as a collection of ideas rather than something with a clear beginning, middle and end. This is emphasised by the fact that he overran considerably and yet still didn’t finish on a clear ending. Perhaps it is due to his passion for social commentary that his style is presented as a succession of opinions rather than a choreographed production, yet it cannot be denied that with a bit more direction Betnér could be onto something special in the world of contentious comedy.

Taken from Broadway Baby, published Aug 2012.

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