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Comedy Culture Fringe Theatre

Alex Farrow: Philosophy Pig — Review

Venue: Laughing Horse @ 32 Below 3, Venue 442
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It is not often you leave a Fringe show feeling educated and entertained in equal measure, but Alex Farrow: Philosophy Pig is an exception. Starring Alex Farrow himself, an ex-philosophy teacher who threw it all in to become a full-time standup, this show integrates fundamental philosophical concepts into successful stand-up comedy, all the while operating a ‘pay what you can’ ticketing system. This is a high-value show that packs a philosophical punch.

Farrow knows how to engage and retain the attention of his audience, with his first genius move being the revelation that the audience may well have met him before the show, in another guise. This opening gambit sets up the rest of the hour.

The show covers topics such as Descartes’ famous knowledge argument, ‘I think, therefore I am’, and Farrow is self-aware of his medium too, comedically letting the audience in on his process, albeit in a rehearsed way. He covers how people have a public and a private self, which seems apt for today’s digital world. In other current topics, he tells us to be wary of ‘manufactured outrage’, which cuts through the surrounding comedy as a key concept to grasp in a time where we are increasingly exposed to strong opinions painted as fact.  Hearing these concepts invoked alongside quite successful comedy gags makes their impact all the more powerful, as a seemingly throwaway gag is linked by Farrow to a much more prescient current issue. In a peak moment for the show. This is clever comedy.

Farrow himself refers to his show as a ‘lesson’, and that is how it feels, but one of those lessons which you wouldn’t want to skip. For anyone who hasn’t studied philosophy, Farrow introduces key philosophical concepts in a casual and accessible way, and for those who have, it is a great reminder of how these concepts relate to the world in which we live. All in all, get yourself to this show before the end of its run.

Aug 7-29, 12:45
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/alex-farrow-philosophy-pig
Image credits: Chelsea Birkby & Richard Hammond