POLITICAL comedian Andy Zaltzman brought his show ‘Satire for Hire‘ to Salford Quays’ Lowry Theatre and Quays News entertainment reporter Coral-Jade Daniels was there to witness it…

Andy Zaltzman’s ‘Satire for Hire’ is a very modern and entertaining piece of comedy that requires quick witted skill; taking audience interaction to the next level.

The entire act was constructed by the audience, for the audience. Zaltzman’s ideal was to attempt solving all of the world’s ‘social and political’ issues, so the audience could leave feeling better about the world. He tested this by asking everyone to give the world a rating out of ten, most of which were around three at the start of the evening; rising to a fair seven by the end – a success for Zaltzman.

Before the show, members of the audience were encouraged to send their ideas, questions and general gripes to his email/social media accounts. This is what the structure of his set would rely on as his accounts were open on his laptop ready for riffing. The evening’s entries ranged from the tragic to the completely wacky. One man asked for the recent Paris attacks, in order to lighten the mood on the tragedy, which was difficult for him to do with the necessary sensitivity required. To combat this he went along the route of terrorism as a whole and how he (surprisingly) is not a fan of it, which caused chuckling amongst the crowd.

Another went along a very different path.

A lady at the front complained about the lack of need for a ‘hedgehog gutter brush’ leaving Zaltzman slightly stunned and confused that such a thing could get someone so riled up. However, one of the evenings highlights came from a young teenager asking Andy to satire her Spanish teacher.

This was presumed to be about the amount of homework she got, but was in fact rooted in the alleged racism in how this teacher segregated her class by ethnicity, leading to a dramatic change of mood in the room. He also took this opportunity to heckle with the girl, as she had mis-spelt words in her email so he said her English teacher can’t be any better either. In order to solve the teen’s issue, it was suggested that teachers are not needed and the government should cut them like everything else. To back this theory up Zaltzman demonstrated how ‘science will still happen even if we don’t teach kids about it’.

Further reassuring us that chemistry is just ‘blowing stuff up’ and how recent events have proven we know how to do that anyway and how cutting biology would prevent the ‘filth’ that David Attenborough produces calling it insect and zebra porn.

The only real flaw of the evening was his recycling of old jokes from previous shows he had done, which did not have much impact on the audience who were sniggering away throughout, but for those who have been fans of his for a while it was a slight disappointment. His joke about war leading to peace for instance seems to be one of his favourites to do, which is what he opened the show with. He takes the common ‘give peace a chance’ and goes on to say how giving war a chance has a higher success rate with reference to World War One – four years of war followed by 21 years of peace.

He goes on to wish he had that success rate of peace in his career, so they could have taken some of the stage away to make another couple of rows. Although, there were very few seats spare, so he is clearly capable of selling out shows, despite joking about unpopularity.

Overall, he was very funny, which is all you can ask for from a comedian. He lost momentum a few times, which is sad as the build up is at the heart of comedy, so, if this was not the case then he probably would have had people in tears. Although, based on the spontaneity of the set and the extent he had to improvise, he was very skilled and admirable. The most amazing part is that each time he performs on this tour, it is entirely different because it is based on what the audience want.

He is a true man of the people.

By Coral-Jade Daniels
@CoralMBROmedia

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