Michael Legge: The Idiot – Edinburgh Fringe

There are some acts that I watch where I spend as much time worrying about their vocal chords as I do enjoying their material. Michael Legge is one such act, who rarely seems to lower the decimal level below that of a furious shout, leaving you imagining his throat shredded like the angriest of metal band frontmen. Luckily, however, his material tends to be strong enough to overcome the worry. 

The Idiot tells about growing up in Northern Ireland during the troubles, made relevant by some bone-headed comments by Jacob Rees-Mogg, and the wonder that is Iggy Pop. From this, Legge jumps into some wonderful routines including one about how to get a Netflix special (revealing that the trick is just being needlessly edgy), and his disdain for such comics is thoroughly reminiscent of a shoutier Stewart Lee, appealing particularly to a comedy-savvy audience at The Stand.

Elsewhere, his mother’s rare swearing and the misplacement of his accent lead to regular strong laughs. Whilst there are some more thoughtful moments, some material about his concave chest is quite sweet in its way even if undercut somewhat by the punchline. Legge seems to dislike the sentimentality of other shows. His constant joking of winning awards whenever he does allow for anything more personal to be said is a highlight, and one that plays up to the cliché seen all too often in Fringe shows nowadays. 

This is just a very fun hour from someone who is something of a cult comedian. Previous fans know what they are in for, and as such are overjoyed with every yell and punchline. If you are one of their number then you will love this; if you are new to Legge’s oeuvre then there is more than enough material here to keep you happy. An hour well worth seeking out. 


The Idiot runs until the 26th of August – buy tickets here.


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Scott Redmond

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