Thursday, September 29

Max Fosh: Zocial Butterfly – Underbelly Bristo Square

Ah, so that’s why he spells it with a ‘Z’…

The other half of the title is no mystery at all as Max flits and flutters about the stage, cramming in a baker’s dozen’s-worth of material on top of what he borrows from his considerable canon of YouTube adventures. Lazy, he isn’t, and his genuine enthusiasm heads off a certain strain of criticism at the pass. It’s apt to hear many teenagers these days refer uncharitably to Radio’s Three and/or Four as ‘Radio Tory’, and yet they (1.34 million subscribers) love Harrow-educated Max and it’s probably because in the first place he doesn’t try to hide his background and second, he’s authentically interested in what he’s doing. Which means not everything he does is interesting or amusing to everybody, but his hit-versus-miss ratio is pretty decent, and – Crikey Charlie – he’s clearly having a lot of fun.

A show of hands reveals not everyone’s up to speed with his online antics and so we’re treated to a series of his previous scams and stunts: gate-crashing a security conference as Rob Banks, canvassing Henley Regatta attendees, exploring the allure of roadkill, visiting a Nudists reserve in St Albans and (your scribe’s favourite) spelling out ‘Welcome To Luton’ beneath the flightpath into Gatwick airport. Then there’s his Alphabet Game. In the course of his day-job (attending posh drinks receptions mostly) he encounters many who fail to appreciate that being a YouTuber counts as a real profession these days. He finds himself constantly having to answer the same questions with the same answers. To relieve the tedium he attempts to begin – starting with ‘A’ – each response with the next letter of the alphabet and we see and hear him in action at a party, his local stylist and a Thai restaurant.

It is light and frothy, there are a few cheap ingredients concerning ‘penis’ and ‘vegan’, but in the tradition of That’s Life or Dave Gorman it’s a winning dish; with a constant flow of new ideas it’s doubtful his winning enthusiasm will falter.

Running until August 29th (14.15pm) at Underbelly Bristo Square (Buttercup), Tickets

Reviewer: Roger Jacobs

Reviewed: 19th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★