Scott Agnew: Spunk on Our Lady's Face

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
31510_large
Scott Agnew
Published 21 Aug 2017

If there's a single word to describe Scott Agnew's show, it's probably "salty". So, so, salty. I'm fairly sure there's not another Fringe show where the phrases "fabulous penis", or "hangover horn" are used, and certainly not with such panache. Nor, I suspect, would many other acts threaten an audience member with, "I could pump you into the middle of next Wednesday". Agnew has a level, and it's important you know that when you come before him.

Agnew was in the news last year after speaking insightfully about his HIV diagnosis. And while that undoubtedly comes into his set, in reality it's only very tangential. More accurately, this is a set of stories about his somewhat hedonistic pre-diagnosis lifestyle, and the fine line between bravery and stupidity. Mostly, though, the fun here is in the salacious stories, and the vivid way Agnew relays them. Sure, there's a window into a world that I've certainly not experienced, but they are told in an oddly relatable way – less shaggy dog stories than believable chapters in a slightly bizarre life so far. I've certainly never met anyone quite like his Catholic school's rotten Monsignor ("a middle management priest cunt"), but I don't doubt he exists, largely as described.

Agnew's delivery is often a bit haphazard and sketchy. This isn't the polished standup that's the hallmark of an award punt, and one feels instead that you're getting a slightly freer version of a jobbing standup's set. That's no bad thing – there's enough meat here to stop this feeling at all half-hearted.