Mitch Benn: Don’t Believe a Word Stand 3

You may not have heard the name but you will definitely have heard his material if you watch any mainstream comedy on TV. Mitch writes material for “more photogenic comedians” and for those oh so spontaneous (not!) comedy panel shows – no names mentioned. Is he bitter? Yes, but in the nicest possible way. Despite not being one of the ex-Cambridge set (he actually went to Edinburgh Uni), Mitch has built up a successful career on radio (The Now Show) and writing comedy songs for TV (The One Show) and has also built up a very faithful following in his years of coming to the Fringe and this show will not disappoint. It is the first time I have seen him but it won’t be the last – I loved his brand of very clever comedy combined with witty and not half bad songs.

He had a big success with his show last year – “Mitch Benn: the 37th Beatle” which revolved around his lifelong love affair with the music of his famous fellow Liverpudlians, and in 2012 his show “Mitch Benn : Reduced Circumstances” covered his then obsession with losing weight.

He could have taken the easy option of reprising either of these shows this year. Instead he has gone for a brand new one, and for inspiration he asked himself what other “obsessions” did he have and the answer was clear – he loves annoying religious people on Twitter and generally debunking religion.
For good measure he also adds in other pet hates such as astrology and homeopathy. Cue for the first song “Sceptics” then a diatribe against religion and intelligent design leads into the very funny “You wouldn’t say that about the Muslims”. He is on an evangelical mission to convert us to atheism but he does not want to offend religious believers, indeed he assures us he has only written one deliberately offensive line in the whole show (and believe me, you will recognise it when he gets to it!) He rails against lazy thinking and, with clever use of a phone voice recorder, harmonises with himself on “Logical Fallacies Rumba”.

References to Descartes’ Cogito Ergo Sum and the Cosmological argument took me way back to my days of studying Philosophy – he certainly doesn’t dumb down his subject matter for his audience. Be warned, he doesn’t pause for breath and you have to keep your wits about you at all times to pick up all the cracking one liners – he isn’t going to stop and explain it to you. It’s well worth the effort though, an entertaining and enlightening hour.

Irene Brownlee