The Blog

Alfie Brown - Soul for Sale - 4 ½ stars

I'd like to apologise in advance if this article crosses the boundary from critical praise into sycophancy but I genuinely can't recommend Alfie Brown's comedy stylings enough.

I'd like to apologise in advance if this article crosses the boundary from critical praise into sycophancy but I genuinely can't recommend Alfie Brown's comedy stylings enough.

Brown is a man utterly without artifice; where other comedians employ a kind of mock anger to highlight their disillusionment with contemporary culture, Brown's learned and eloquent rants are coming from somewhere more real. He seems genuinely troubled about the direction that comedy is taking and at times this crosses from stand up show to a sermon about the debasement of his beloved artform. He rattles through potentially controversial subject matter with a considered and intelligent approach, challenging the audiences' perceptions on paedophilia, and attacking an infamous comedy promoter for some uninvited words of wisdom after last year's fringe show. All of this is interspersed with a scathing and impeccably observed impression of Michael McIntyre and a Lenny Bruce inspired argument about swearing and offensiveness.

He has the unabated fury of Bill Hicks and is an exciting, bold presence in an industry that's become cluttered with anodyne performers. It's utterly refreshing to see someone be genuinely innovative and in years to come, Alfie Brown will be considered one of the most important voices in the comedy of his generation. Although he's not quite yet the complete package (perhaps a little too derivative of Stewart Lee) Brown is definitely one of, if not the most, exciting comedian on the circuit today.