Browse reviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2017

You’re Only Cosmic Dust

Keier McAllister

Genre: Stand-Up

Venue: The Stand 2


Low Down

Keir McAllister is striking out to tell us what the world has done to itself. He explores why futility might just be what the human race needs.


If you want an hour of real comedy…you know…the kind that makes everyone from every walk of life chuckle, listen to Keir McAllister take the world to task. He uses words so beautifully that each joke makes you think, even as it makes you laugh. His topics span human experience. He talks about the taxi drivers who are so full of themselves they hate anyone who enters their cab and warns you that something awful will happen if you try to tell them how to get where you want to go.

He talks about how dismal Aberdeen is and points out that, empty as it is, it is nothing compared to Dundee where the zoo’s signature exhibit is a crow. He tells us about the mishaps we all face as we go through life, like answering the phone at an inappropriate moment only to realize you are on face time. Then, while we are all thinking “Oh my god, I did that too,” he launches into a diatribe about Brexit and what would happen if the Scots interbred for three generations. Trust me, you do not want to know the answer.

This comedy is rapier sharp and it touches all the sore points we are facing in the twenty-first century. When McAllister talks about 2016 and how it robbed us of hope, he says, “We’ve fucked this planet. We can’t even solve obesity. We’ve regressed so much we’ve been out-civilized by the monkeys.

And so the hour vanishes as if it were five minutes. The audience is laughing so hard at one joke that they miss the next one. McAllister’s commentary is so fast that it is well worth seeing this show again just to get the cracks that went past you. McAllister is a consummate wordsmith and he casts a spell on us all as we listen, we agree and we laugh until we cry. He is a comic genius.

He tells us “I ended up as a stand up because I thought I’ve been talking shit all my life. I might as well make a living at it.”

You will be convinced that he should earn a fine living at comedy once you have heard him because this show is pretty magnificent shit. Still, he does not spend the entire hour tearing down the world. He gives us hope. He tells us we need to be more humble and he tells us Sandy’s story. It seems that Sandy was completely defeated, without a job or any means of making a decent life when he saw an ad for an engineer with his qualifications. He was afraid to apply but he did. He got the interview and he got the job. Keir McAllister says “If my friend Sandy can go from a miserable existence to a chief engineer, there is hope for us all.”

If you only see one show this fringe, make it Keir McAllister’s ‘Hey, You’re Only Cosmic Dust.” And then go see it again. It is a masterpiece.