★ ★ ★ ★ ★
No one expects to leave a 3 pm Fringe show more educated than amused, however, that is the state I was left in after seeing Mitch Benn: Don’t Believe a Word. Before I continue, I would hasten to add that the show was as funny as you would want it to be and that the intense amount of knowledge and argument included in the show is not a criticism.
Early on in his latest Fringe adventure, Benn tells the audience that this year he felt the need to try and top Mitch Benn: 37th Beatle, which he claims is his most popular show to date. He mentions his obsession with Doctor Who (to the odd whoop from the audience), before saying that he settled on the his own skepticism as a theme for this year’s show, Don’t Believe a Word.
As you would expect from Mitch Benn, the show is punctuated with songs, what with musical satire being his signature act, however, the songs are sidelined by Benn’s intellect, knowledge and passion for the subject he is embracing. During the show, Benn ultimately explores his skepticism of the existence of God and his problem with religious people and organisations, not for believing in a god he doesn’t, but for attempting to push their beliefs on others.
The show started off light-hearted, raising laughs from the audience, but as it went on, it became downright fascinating. Just because there were fewer laughs, does not mean the show had got worse; if anything it became better, with Benn passionately stringing together argument after argument after counter argument for the beauty of nature and the wonder we can all find in it, coupled with his skepticism of God.
Mitch Benn: Don’t Believe a Word is a touching mix of four star comedy and five star education, combining to create a truly superb, must-see Fringe show.
Image: Fringe © Phil Richards (philwirks, flickr)