Just a few press reviews of Whisky & Burns Supper Comedian Alan Anderson
‘Mercifully, Anderson isn’t just some Scotsman who want to get drunk with you, he’s a passionate whisky enthusiast who absolutely needs his audience to learn about the magical amber liquid.
It’s not so much a tasting as an at times very humourous sermon on the origins of whisky, the making of whisky, the taste of whisky, the way to drink whisky and, why Scottish whisky is the best of all.
Anderson delivers lightning fast responses to hapless audience members who are treated to a taste of the much-lauded drink and, in between tastings, he regales the audience with one-liners and acerbic observations about life.
And then, he sweetens the deal at the close of the show, doling out that much promised tasting to everyone. A definite must for whisky lovers and a good night out for anyone who’s not afraid of a tipple.’ **** (Adelaide Advertiser 2012)
‘a very funny and genuinely informative show. Anderson educates his audience on the wonders of Scotland’s finest export whilst simultaneously keeping the laughs coming with some non-PC, quintessentially Scottish humour, and by mercilessly ripping the proverbial out of those in the front row. It’s a riot (and) you will get lots of laughs’ **** (Three Weeks EdFringe 2011)
‘A pumping Scottish soundtrack and mantelpiece strewn invitingly with whisky bottles sets a pleasing tone for an absorbing hour of whisky appreciation. Scotsman Alan Anderson is no crusty expert from a dusty, musty whisky club, rather he’s a regular enthusiast on a one-man mission to convert a willing audience to his choice of tipple and, frankly, anyone is welcome. The energetic Anderson is inclusive and educational, a fascinating tour guide who jams in a surprising amount of history and geography facts – which are never dry – around tasting notes, a debunking of marketing tactics, and audience participation, all with a comedic twist. Everyone gets to try some whisky, even if several audience members have to earn their wee dram. Anderson occasionally strays across the fine line of acceptable with his audience banter – definitely unnecessary in an otherwise entertaining show. Funny, factual and free whisky? I’ll drink to that.’ (Ripitup.com.au Adelaide Art Guide 2012)
‘The festival program blurb gives the impression of a storytelling show about debauched drunken behaviour, but the reality is something intriguingly different. Alan Anderson presents three intertwined elements that educate his audience as well as keeping them rolling with laughter.
The show begins as straight stand-up, with Anderson telling us all about himself, his family and his Australian adventure, which is delivered in boisterous and friendly manner. He only alludes to the drunken escapades that we are expecting, while his observations of Adelaide are more informed than most visitors’, thanks to his Australian wife. It is solid material that plays on the Scottish stereotypes as well as providing a Scot’s condescending view on the rest of the world. He endears himself to the audience as a familiar drinking buddy.
The heart of the show begins when the whisky bottles are opened. It turns into a humorous lecture about the Scottish whisky industry that is far from dry and stuffy. Combining plenty of personal views with the facts, he provides information about the various distilleries and processes while inserting jokes at every opportunity.
Anderson states from the outset that he is trying to dispel the stereotype of the cheap Scot by giving away booze. Throughout the performance, he dispenses samples of various whiskies to the audience but only on the condition that they earn it. This is not through embarrassing or confronting audience participation, instead just a friendly chat about their background before asking for an assessment of the sample using personally tailored criteria.
During the interactions Anderson is quick on his feet with plenty of quips, a skill honed on the Scottish stand-up circuit. He has an effortless way of gently prising more information out of a punter that isn’t threatening in the least, a handy skill given the small room means almost everyone will be addressed. Most respond to his approachability by remaining after the show’s official end to chat about whisky, Scotland and other topics.
He uncovers many colourful characters along the way, their amusingly cheeky responses not requiring any elaboration, making his job easier and confirming to the audience that they are a vital part of the show. Anderson and his whisky certainly help bring out the joker in the more vocal punter. This is a warm and hilarious get-together.’ (Chortle.co.uk 2011)
‘A man in a skirt came to Adelaide, had his sporran confiscated and ended up on a stage dealing out shots of whisky for free. Yes, that’s whisky no ‘e’ – the Scottish leave the ‘e’ to their Irish neighbours. Whisky Fir Dummies doesn’t really have a structure, or a lot of pre-written jokes, but is a testament to Anderson as a comedian that he can draw from the crowd and put on a highly entertaining show. Rewarding participants with booze is always going to be a winner – drunk crowds are loud and humorous – and on this night the backpackers in the audience definitely helped. Making the reviewer dance on stage could have been his downfall, but I had suitable laughs under the belt to forgive. This show probably deserves more punters than its location is allowing, and at only $10 give it a spin.’ (Ripitup.com.au Adelaide Art Guide 2011)
‘Scottish comedy veteran.’ (Daily Record)
‘inventive, fun, lighthearted way to learn about whisky’ (The Scotsman)
‘Festival institution’ (Evening Times).