FRINGE REVIEW – Edward Aczel Doesn’t Exist


Comedy is perhaps the most subjective of all the performing arts, and Edward Aczel is likely to be even more polarising than most. Often described as an “anti-comedian”, Aczel’s finely crafted set contains no recognisable jokes and yet leaves most of his audience reduced to helpless laughter.

Edward Aczel is nowhere on the map for what most people would consider comedic “success”. He doesn’t get invited to do panel shows, he doesn’t have a television series, he’s never been in a film. And he is out to correct these omissions. With a dry, shambolic style that belies the intelligence of his material, Aczel presents a case for the “industry professionals” who are of course not present in the audience.

For those unfamiliar with Aczel, he is something of a slow burner. It may take some time to appreciate his craft, but by the time he unveils his flow-chart of the creative process, you are likely to be laughing along at what feels like a very bad professional presentation. From his crumpled notes to a palpable air of resignation, Aczel has obviously committed fully to the unsmiling, low-key character he has created.

Aczel’s deconstructionist comedy feels like a breath of fresh air in the murky confines of the Underbelly, and provides his audiences with perhaps the most intelligent laughs to be had all month.

5-28 Aug 1920 (2020) @ Underbelly

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