It does not surprise me in the slightest that this show was the winner of Mervyn Stutter’s Spirit of the Fringe award in 2016. The Doug Anthony All Stars’ ingenious mix of comic songs and improvised stand-up left the whole audience belly laughing. An audience member next to me even left saying, ‘That was one of the best things I’ve ever seen’.

Paul ‘Flacco’ Livingston, Tim Ferguson and Paul McDermott deliver a strong musical comedy performance. Although time may not have been kind to them (something they do not allow the audience to forget), they still manage to pull off an energetic, hilarious and sometimes risky performance. This show is most definitely not for the politically correct, with a lot of jokes that are very close to the line of appropriate, and some that certainly cross that line. In the few jokes where the audience groans in horror, the group quickly realise they have gone too far for this particular group of people, and go on to quickly win back the crowd by creating an incredible rapport with the audience. From Ferguson making fun of the ‘man from Inverness’ to Livingston pointing to members of the audience in a seductive way throughout the songs.

I was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly strong their voices were and Livingston shocked me the most wonderful way with his incredible guitar solo. You truly feel that no All Stars show is the same which allows you to connect with the band more. The show begins with some old school corny jokes before the band come out, but don’t fear – there’s plenty of filth, morbidity and vulgarity to come. One of the most hilarious moments comes at the very last minute so be sure not to be too quick getting up from your chair.

Words: Kirsty Taylor

Doug Anthony All Stars: Near Death Experience, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 10-27 (not 15, 21, 22), 10pm

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