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Jim Jefferies: Alcoholocaust
Published on Monday, 30 August 2010

3.5 stars

Udderbelly's Pasture (venue website)
Until 30 Aug, 10:30pm (11:30pm)
Reviewed by Trystan Davies

Drink up; it's last orders at the end of the Edinburgh Fringe, and the rude stranger at the bar is none other than the infamous Jim Jeffries.

Expect the unexpected during a late night with one of the Fringe’s most controversial performers.  Jim Jeffries is an Australian who once trained as an opera singer, but decided comedy was his forte.  Having done stand-up across the world and then been nominated for the 2008 Chortle best headliner award, Jeffries doesn’t pull his comedy punch-lines. 

Jim’s latest outing is Alcoholocaust - a name embraced by the comedian drinking on stage, briefly mentioning the Holocaust and discussing the trouble his show title has created.  Controversy covers the show with Jeffries’ blunt opinions on everything from women to God, but fortunately there are incisive and thoughtful insights which separate the man from a ranting drunk.  This is part of an increasingly fashionable genre of comedy which goes out of its way to stick it to the politically “correct”.  Jeffries' particular approach takes in jokes, opinions, wit, anecdotes and, well, drink.

Jeffries is funny because he is articulate, witty, has good comedic timing and plays with the audience’s emotions through shock and awe.  Nothing is off limits, but Jeffries is a fair and equal-opportunities offender, finding the humour in anything.  Yet there is a serious side to Jim; he believes that many issues, ideas, standards and morality lack dignity and integrity without serious challenge.  And he certainly likes a challenge!  The light and the serious are balanced out well when Jeffries is on safe ground, but he did sometimes venture out of his depth, for example when he took on the subject of sexuality. 

The act itself was excellent, but unfortunately Jeffries was let down by the time of the show, where an earlier slot would have had a sharper atmosphere.  Jeffries, although able to handle his drink, didn’t seem to be able to handle the hecklers - and complaining or apologising to the audience just made things worse.  This lack of consistency in his character also crept into his act, with random subjects dropping in and out too quickly.

Love him or hate him, Jim Jeffries is a talent to behold.  But this show needs more discipline... and less drink.

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These are archived reviews of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to those we've featured, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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