Rory Bremner.

Rory Bremner's International Satirists

BBC Radio 4 documentary. 3 episodes (1 series) in 2010. Features Rory Bremner, Hans Teeuwen, Viktor Giacobbo and Barry Murphy.

Press Clippings

Radio Review: Rory Bremner's International Satirists

When it comes to cynicism in satire, the Brits win hands down.

Chris Maume, The Independent, 14th March 2010

The great impressionist begins a three-part series in which he finds out about the comedy of other countries and talks to leading exponents of it. Irish and Swiss wags are to follow, but here he meets Hans Teeuwen who turns out to be yet another Dutchman who speaks flawless English and whose accent is so unmarked that when Bremner tries out his own comedy Dutch voice it sounds rude. We get snippets of Teeuwen's stage act, which consists of a fair amount of filthy songs and some excellent surreal riffing (don't miss the joke about the rabbit).

Chris Campling, The Times, 8th March 2010

Rory Bremner's Internation Satirists is a three-part survey of how different countries and cultures take the mickey out of the powerful. I don't know if the budget ran out before he got to the really interesting places - Iran, say, or Russia - but the choice of 'cultures' and countries looks a little safe.

The show kicks off with Holland and continues with Ireland and Switzerland - not a country I've ever associated with the cutting-edge humour, unless there's something about the cuckoo clock that I'm missing.

Barry Didcock, Sunday Herald, 7th March 2010

"Power always tends to corrupt, and has to be ridiculed", is the view of absurdist Hans Teeuwen, who talks to Bremner about the risks facing Dutch comedians today. It is a subject matter close to the heart of a man who has become a leading advocate of freedom of speech in Holland since his friend, the film-maker Theo Van Gogh, was killed by Islamic extremists in 2004.

Trevor Lewis, The Sunday Times, 7th March 2010

He may be an impressionist but there is nothing lightweight about Rory Bremner and this new series of foreign satirists verges on the academic at times. In this first programme he learns about the Dutch cabaret tradition and the absurdist humour of Hans Teeuwen. Together the comics explore how their different cultures intersect.

Stephanie Billen, The Observer, 7th March 2010

Bremner's excellent new three-part series considers comedians from three different countries, comparing and contrasting their style and material with our own culture. Still to come are the 'don of Irish comedy' Barry Murphy and veteran Swiss satirist Viktor Giacobbo, but first Bremner meets The Netherlands' Hans Teeuwen, an absurdist performer and singer from Amsterdam who has been making waves over here since 2007. Teeuwen's deranged act teeters on the edge of sanity, but here he makes perfect sense as he deconstructs his artform, explaining to Bremner how he likes to play with audience perceptions in the same unsettling way as director David Lynch does in his films and TV shows.

Daily Mail, 7th March 2010

As Rory Bremner well knows, understanding a nation's sense of satire is a good way to start understanding that nation at large. Starting with Holland and the spiky musical comedian Hans Teeuwen ("I'm once, twice, three times Hans Teeuwen!"), Bremner embarks on an unapologetically intellectual quest to take the satiric pulse of three nations (Ireland and Switzerland are to follow). Tonight's edition is smart, engrossing and - providing you've a stomach for edgy, Bill Hicks-style jokes - occasionally very funny.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 6th March 2010

The first hints came in the new slate of comedy shows unveiled last week, which revealed that Rory Bremner has been wooed over to Radio 4 for a series called Rory Bremner's International Satirists. Bremner always delivers, so this series, which takes a look at satire across the world, is a promising start.

Jane Thynne, The Independent, 25th February 2010