SIMON EVANS: The Work of the Devil

UK Tour 2020

 ‘A gripping and ultimately heart-warming tale… rich with Evans’ wit and caustic observation’ – **** – THE SCOTSMAN 

‘He questions your view, he makes you laugh, he makes you think. His trademark grumpiness is there and his audience appreciate the quality of his show. This is excellent comedy done well’ – FRINGE REVIEW

Saturday, 14th MarchPlowright Theatrewww.scunthorpetheatres.co.uk

Simon Evans’ last tour, Genius 2.0, provided an hilarious analysis of the departure of any visible sign of intelligence from modern life. But his new show raises the stakes, with his usual excoriating views of a world on fire – given a perspective shift due to personal revelations that have turned his world upside down this year.

Simon Evans is one of the country’s best-loved stand-up comedians, with a loyal fan base who greatly appreciate his intelligent and independent scrutiny of the modern world. His tongue-in-cheek, often rueful attachment to traditionalism, and his scepticism towards the claimed achievements of progressive politics and modernist aesthetics, have set him apart from many of his contemporaries. As well as making him a firm favourite on the usual platforms – Live at the Apollo, the Edinburgh Festival and the corporate circuit in particular –  these qualities allow him to provide much-needed latitude and offer a diversity of views on TV and radio programmes – from BBC One’s Question Time to Radio 4’s The News Quiz. He has also written and presented five series of the ground breaking economics/comedy hybrid Simon Evans Goes to Market, on that same network.

But this year, Evans has adapted to unexpected personal revelations of a quite extraordinary nature, and used them to re-examine his entire 23-year career in comedy to date. And in so doing he has, in the words of Chortle’s Jay Richardson – “Exceeded what seemed to be his full potential.”*

Given that this full potential had already been enough to earn a coveted five-star review from The Scotsman’s Kate Copstick in 2017, with his show Genius – “A Masterclass” – this would seem to be a bold claim. But it is one that Evans made good on, night after night, at this year’s Fringe. One typical audience member on the Fringe’s own site said: 

“I have been a Simon Evans fan for years. He is a brilliant comedian and raconteur. This year he did a review of his career, which was interesting, but the second half of the show was breathtaking. This was his best show by a country mile. All reviewers have been sworn to secrecy for good reason. Go and see him.”

For some of its impact, the show does indeed rely on the full force of the revelation that defines the second half – and that retroactively reconfigures everything that has come before. Evans is already adapting to the fact that many people are coming to see the show for a second time, and reporting that it is if anything even more satisfying second time around. Nevertheless, we ask that reviewers respect the right of their readers and future audiences to experience the show as, hopefully, they themselves have done:  armed with no more than the confident expectation that this is a show that will stay in the memory even longer than the aching cheeks that are a given after any Evans show. 

“Jaw-Dropping… You tend to expect a high standard of stand-up from this veteran performer. But in sharing something so deeply personal he has exceeded what seemed to be his full potential. Outstanding stuff.”

Jay Richardson, Chortle

Simon Evans has been a regular face on the comedy circuit for the last two decades, and has performed popular and critically-acclaimed shows at venues and festivals around the world – Montreal, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Aspen, Switzerland, Norway and many more. Genius and Genius 2.0 sold out venues around the UK, following critical acclaim at the Fringe in 2017 and 2018. 

In addition to hosting fifth series of his own show Simon Evans Goes to Market on BBC Radio 4, Simon is also a regular on The News Quiz on that channel. He has appeared twice on Live at the Apollo and on Michael McIntyre’s Roadshow, starred in a series of Stand up for the Week, and has become an increasingly familiar face on current affairs and debate shows including BBC’s Question Time, This Week and The Big Questions. As a performer of distinctly adult wit and temperament, and indeed age, he also continues to be in great demand on the corporate and after-dinner circuit; a rare comedian who actually enjoys wearing a bow tie and hanging out with grown-ups.


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