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EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: CHRIS BETTS VS THE AUDIENCE, Heroes @ Bob's Blundabus

EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: CHRIS BETTS VS THE AUDIENCE, Heroes @ Bob's Blundabus

EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: CHRIS BETTS VS THE AUDIENCE, Heroes @ Bob's BlundabusMost comedians try to find common ground with their audiences, but Chris has been arguing with people on a bus for a while. If you come along to the top deck of the Blundabus and suggest a topic, he will happily argue with you too, whether that means defending Hitler or telling you that your proudest achievements are not worth the paper they are written on.

In the ultimate manifestation of playing devil's advocate, Chris Betts vs the Audience pits the Canadian comic against his own punters, having him take up a contrary position on whatever idea they put forward, be it serious or silly.

The audience are encouraged to argue right back as Betts attempts to improvise his way to victory. A different guest comedian each day serves as an objective judge, since of course nobody ever likes to admit when they've lost an argument.

Some topics provide more fuel than others for both comedy and debate, as is to be expected with such an improv-based piece, but the loose structure of game show rounds helps give the audience some focused starting points.

Pleasingly, the suggestions given at this performance were diverse and original enough to avoid typical topical easy-hitters from contemporary politics. While the subjects unsurprisingly veer into the outrageous, Betts is a likeable enough performer that the show is never in danger of feeling mean-spirited when arguing against his crowd.

There's no insistence on individuals getting involved, but the nature of the show means it is highly interactive, and would particularly suit anyone who loved debate club in school or who can form an opinion on anything.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, you will likely enjoy an hour of laughing over the most controversial of suggestions or setting the world to rights with fellow audience members.

Indeed, arguing about whale genocide with perfect strangers on the top deck of a bus somehow provides a quintessentially Fringe experience, thanks to Betts's careful cultivation of a light-hearted atmosphere. I found myself disappointed when the hour came to an end and would happily have stayed through the rest of the afternoon.

If you like audacious comedy, Chris Betts vs the Audience is quite likely the most fun you'll have on an Edinburgh bus during August.

Chris Betts vs the Audience is at Heroes @ Bob's Blundabus until 25 August (not 14).



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