Edinburgh Fringe Review – Stewart Lee: A Room With A Stew

Like last year, Lee’s Fringe show consists of an hour split into two as he hones down material for Comedy Vehicle series four. It is billed, therefore, as a work in progress, although on this occasion nobody feels short-changed for their tenner.
It’s difficult to talk about content as the show changes daily – and of course pointless if you’re still looking for a recommendation – these days Lee is comedy royalty who sold out his run months ago. But today the first half concentrates on religion in comedy – specifically those who criticise comics for treating Islam with kid gloves. There is a serious point, as there so often is, but Lee skilfully elevates what could be a dry topic to something hilarious by imagining out loud what reasoned and informed jokes about the religion would actually sound like. As he reminds us, events in the news over the last 24 hours have rendered some parts of this set suddenly out of context, but he negotiates his way around that with experience and confidence.
Set two is about wee. It’s half an hour on wee, and it’s brilliant. It would be difficult to expand more on that without spoiling the content, but although he used his notes a lot it seemed just about there, and I very much looking forward to seeing the finished article on screen.
There isn’t enough comedy on television, that’s for sure. But the one decent stand up show that we have is in safe hands for now.
James Rose
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