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Brendan Hunt: Five Years in Amsterdam review at Pleasance Dome Edinburgh

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With world politics being as they are, it is enormously refreshing and heartening to hear a bright,wry witty American’s take on European life and culture. And Brendan Hunt’s five year odyssey living in Amsterdam is an absolute joy.

OK he starts with his depressing childhood (an absent father, a mother who regularly called him “a piece of shit”) but boy does his whole being explode into life in Europe’s most open-minded city working for the Dutch outpost of comedy troupe Boom Chicago.

He has a wonderfully inviting wonky, hang dog face, is also gloriously self aware and open and damn funny, so it was little surprise he was such a hit with the locals. And boy can he tell a story, whether it is about his sexually voracious girlfriend, his drugs excesses, his experiences at a fetish club or, by way of a diversion for his British audience members, his feelings about the Match of the Day anthem and Alan Hansen. There’s even an improvised song at the beginning (which felt a little tacked on) plus music slides and possibly one of the most outrageous couple of costume changes on the fringe this year (his leather thong has to be seen to be believed).

But no gimmicks are cheap, and no tale is squandered, and each drop of comedy gold is lovingly extracted in a superbly crafted, unflinchingly honest and enormously enjoyable whole.

Production Information

Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh, August 1-27

Writer and Performer
Brendan Hunt
Boom Chicago
Running Time

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