If you like variety when it comes to comedy, then the final Comedy Bunker show of the season provided a truly entertaining multi-pack of comedic styles.
From the outstandingly creative, original and very funny compere Tony Marrese to the unique presentation (literally) of James Veitch, to the political and musical flavoured comedy of Nish Kumar, to the near the knuckle, edgy comedy of Reginald D Hunter, this show had it all.
It was the first time I’d seen Marrese and he was an absolute blast. His compering style centred on making the audience very much a part of the show. This was all done in an entirely amiable way, such that the audience felt little pressure or embarrassment about being a part of the show even if some were the butt of his jokes – be that the beetroot red faced Irishman present, ‘action man’ or the Asian man sporting a bright yellow jacket. I knew he’d be the butt of jokes the minute I saw him come in and indeed her was! Sitting on the end of the front row, with his jacket on the back of his chair was not enough to disguise his oh so colourful jacket. Marrese had the audience in stitches throughout and was the perfect host.
James Veitch was superb with an original set based around email spammers. After the Power Point jammed at the start I feared the worst, but Veitch was relaxed about it, quickly fixed the problem and powered ahead to present a superb set that was very well received.
Nish Kumar was a little too long winded in his delivery and frequently a bit light on jokes. He was on safer, more assured comedic ground talking about music. I loved the references to musical legends James Brown, David Bowie and Prince, but the digs at the Spice Girls and Cold Play struck a bum note with the audience.
Last but not least was headliner Reginald D Hunter (RDH). It’s been a year exactly since I last saw him at one of his final shows of his last tour. He mentioned that he’d taken 9 months off comedy (enough time to have a baby) since his last tour to recharge the batteries and start writing a book. I enjoyed his set even though there were a few stories in it from his last tour. There were some jaw dropping stories out of seemingly innocuous meetings – such as with the 70 year old lady he met at a book convention. Who knew they could be so exciting?
Underneath the undeniable charm seems to lie a very angry man railing against all sorts of things – such as sexually mixed up relatives and Christianity. Even nice people like cuddly TV stars come in for attack. For instance, he wonders what dark skeletons a certain well loved, multi-award winning TV duo may be hiding. As mentioned in previous reviews, there’s little lightness with RDH and when searching for such, the best he could come up with was Bill Cosby, whom he said he respected but never really loved in the way many did. He questioned how Cosby could ever really have been, off camera/off stage, the lovable character he put out there for public consumption.
RDH was also seemingly angered by a mobile phone going off by a man in the front row. Well he denied being angry – paused and allowed the man time to “attend to his phone” so that he could continue … saying that he could get angry if it wasn’t attended to. Most comedians would have mined the situation for laughs. Pretty basic comedy fodder for an experienced comedian I would have thought but RDH was unable to go down such a path.
This was a superb show and if RDH is half as revelatory in the book he is writing as he is on stage I’m sure it will be a real page turner.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
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