Review: Simon Amstell ‘To Be Free’

Harry Vizor


The self-deprecating and brutally honest comic Simon Amstell graced Glasgow’s comedy scene last Thursday (the 19th March) at the Citizen’s Theatre, with a hysterical performance. It felt as though Amstell interchanged between previously written and performed work to improvised jokes, mainly aimed towards people in the audience or Glasgow itself. He is at once, entirely narcissistic and completely modest for his constant introspective questioning seems to renounce his own messiah complex (as he did in one point in the show claim to be God).

It was a typical Amstell performance with an egoistic and contemplative edge; he managed to encapsulate the audience with what appeared to be particularly honest and detailed anecdotes from his own life.

Amstell walked us through a number of his own issues to do with his ego, which is classic in his comedic style, in how he struggles to realize how the world does not revolve around himself, and how everyone in the audience believe that they themselves are the important person there when in reality, all the evidence points to the fact that he is, being known by everyone there and being on a stage in front of them.

He also brought up problems that he’s had to deal with in respect to his father, who became a committed Jew after divorcing Amstell’s mother (apparently because he was awful at canoeing which he also tried after the divorce), and in turn picked up the homophobia that can be read in the Torah. Although a serious issue for him, Amstell managed to make his routine hilarious, and enticed the audience, I think because of it being a true story, or at the very least believable.

Amstell also commented on feminism, with a particularly funny ‘plan of action’ for women, in which, they should stop giving birth to men, and as soon as they find out they’re having a boy they should abort, as feminism is a war against oppressive men, and you wouldn’t see Churchill letting himself give birth to a Nazi.

Amstell is coming to the end of his tour, with only a few dates left in March, but if you have the opportunity to see him, I would highly recommend it.


Share this story

Follow us online