Sometimes the Devil is right. *****
Reginald D Hunter,
Assembley Halls Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
24th February 2012
Welcome to Royal Tunbridge Wells. The quintessential English middle class town. Not the type of place one might expect to find a man like Reginald D Hunter, but here he was at the Assembley Halls Theatre fulfilling, as he loves to call it, one of his “contractual obligations.”
The show is nearing it’s final week of its UK tour. An extended tour at that due to the huge demand to see Reginald. The theatre was packed solid. 1,000 expectant fans waiting to hear Reginald’s latest stories and hard hitting take on life.
My blog title questions whether Reginald is really the Devil incarnate. I’ll return to answer that at the end of this review. I shall leave you to reflect and consider if he is whilst you read this review and consider previous Reginald shows you might care to recall.
The show, entitled “Sometimes the devil is right,” covers familiar ground of relationships, the human body and UK-USA differences. It’s a typically challenging, thought provoking and above all very funny show. Reginald implores us to believe he’s really a Scientist, who is merely using the stage to test his theories. Well, all I can say to that is science’s loss is comedies gain!
The N Word
He uses the N word a lot. Something he’s un-apologetic for. It’s funny-ironic that his current observation is that the white middle classes seem most upset by the terminology and for that he apologised!
It’s clear that like many well known African-American entertainers he has no issue with using the N word. That’s pretty much at odds with how many, including the Black intelligentsia in the UK, view the word. That is with one of total and utter contempt, loaded as it is with resonance of blatant school day racism. To be called a Nigger was pretty much the worst insult going and would often results in fights. Those memories have not faded.
Has Reginald not noticed the uproar caused by Liverpool’s Luiz Suarez’s use of the insult to Manchester United’s Patrice Evra last October? If he has does he not care?
In a Voice interview last year he bemoans the abscence of Black folk at his shows. I wager he may find his answer in his all too liberal use of the N word.
Raising your game
He told a nice anecdote of playing cards with his Father when he was a young boy. He was losing 3-2 and his Father abruptly said he’s not playing anymore as “he wasn’t getting any better playing you” and that wouldn’t help his street hustle. Reginald took from that that if,”you keep playing with shit, it doesn’t make you a better player.”
John Gordillo ***** 5/5
In other words, play with people better than you and you improve. In a way we saw that at the start of the night as we had the very funny, quick witted John Gordillo on as his support act for this final leg of the tour. Reginald and John are long time friends, with Reginald viewing him as his mentor, the man who taught him how to do comedy. You can see that influence as John’s evidently a smart guy, delivering an excellent 30minute set covering the riots, David Cameron’s hand movements whilst speaking, begging and poking fun at the poshness of Tunbridge Wells.
For example, “What’s the difference between Tunbridge Wells and Royal Tunbridge Wells?” Answer – “About £400k!”
What was impressively funny re the riots “jokes” was that it was purely a diversion brought about by a latecomer -who’s explained his tardiness due to having just watched his ‘A’ level daughter’s play about the riots. This lead to jokes about the response of MP’s and Prime Minister David Cameron’s habit of employing excessive hand gestures whilst making a point.
Reginald D Hunter – Question Time
Does what you say to your partner in bed, whilst making out valid the next day?
Could you give up your mobile or laptop for a year.
Would you recognise an intimate part of your body if plastered on a billboard?
These are just some of the teasing questions thrown out by Reginald in his joyful, hugely hilarious comedic-science experiment in Tunbridge Wells.
BBC Question Time
It was quite apt and fitting that the show was taking place the day after the BBC had been in town to record Question Time, for a questioning, challenging show full of jokes is exactly what he delivered.
Double Nominee – The Black Comedy Awards
Reginald proved with this terrific show just why he is a well deserved double nominee and one of the leading contenders for Best Male and Best International Comedian at the Black Comedy Awards taking place on 4th April 2012 at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London.
Is Reginald D Hunter really the Devil in disguise?
To answer this blog’s title I would say Reginald has too much easy, going, amiable charm to really be the Devil. However I definitely believe he is the Devil’s advocate, seen through his continued, habitual use of the N word, knowing full well it’s impact and meaning and those challenging questions. There’s the straight forward, tell it as it is honesty whether or not it makes him look like the bad guy or not. I find that very refreshing. No pandering to the gallery of political correctness. No “love me, love me”Mr Nice guy.
Plus there’s the asking of awkward questions. Difficult questions that arguably best belong in private if you were to ask “regular” God fearing people e.g. Asking entire audiences whether or not they’ve viewed “hidden parts” of their anatomy? Hmmm:
“Reginald D Hunter finds the humour that no other Comedian can see, let alone touch!”
Those who’ve seen his live shows will know exactly what I mean.
Devil? Probably not. Devlish, genuinely inquisitive intent that pushes the envelope? Yes.
Scientist? No, but a part-time Social Scientist at play, yes.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
28thth February 2012
Reginald D Hunter’s tour continues through to 1st March. View www.reginalddhunter.co.uk for tour dates.
The much anticipated Black Comedy Awards are coming soon!!!
On 4th April 2012 you will have a fantastic opportunity to be part of a unique night to celebrate, honour and laugh with the funny men and women who had audiences roaring with laughter in 2011.
To make an advanced reservation or to request further information email us at:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets to attend the prestigious 9th Black Comedy Awards 2011 to be held at the Bloomsbury Theatre on 4th April 2012 can be purchased from www.bcawards2011.eventbrite.com
Voting lines close on 18th<sup March 2012. Nominees and voting information – http://www.tiemo.co.uk/blackcomedyawards2011.html