Colin Hoult / Anna Mann in How We Stop the Fascists

"The greatest actress of her generation" - Anna Mann

Colin Hoult / Anna Mann in How We Stop the Fascists

How do we stop the fascists? It is a question that is becoming increasingly pertinent in light of recent events, but don't come to Anna Mann looking for the answer. She doesn't know how to stop the fascists. She does however, know how to ridicule the world in all its horrible splendour. Yes, She knows how to do that exceptionally well.

The start of the show was a weak and overused trope that initially had me settling in for a long hour, but she quickly punished me for being so dismissive with quick-witted one-liners and tales that led you one way then pulled you the other in genuinely funny payoffs.

Mann, the survivor of at least 12 husbands, wants to explore what it is that has created this new rise of fascism, so through the art of verbatim theatre she takes us across the country to hear the voice of the people.

This aspect of the show was a very mixed bag. Although very well acted, and in many ways captured the spirit of the of the person she aimed to represent, some parts went on just a little bit too long. The Labour Momentum supporter got a particularly large laugh, if only because it was so tragically accurate. However, I found that Mann was best when being Mann, as the flirtatious, fruity and saucy actress wanting to change the world.

Mann has a hectic, high energy style of delivery, where both audience and performer both appear surprised at what comes out of her mouth. The quick pace, fast firing jokes are where Mann performs at her best. Even the cheap jokes worked exceptionally well, in fact one particular visual gag had me choking with laughter, but I won't spoil it for you.

I would be shocked if Colin Hoult/Anna Mann had never been compared to Eddie Izzard before as there are multiple areas for comparison, and all of them positive.

Take hatred away, and the fascists have nothing to weaponise. Great words from a great show, and while absolutely nothing will be resolved in the hour, you will come away feeling a little less bitter about the world.


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe..

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