Reviewer: Geoff Lovelock
The Public Reviews Rating:
It’s a stressful journey to Salford Quays; with Man U v. Galatasary at Old Trafford, the roads leading to it are gridlocked, a fact exacerbated by the fact pedestrian footie fans seem to think it’s hilarious to walk in the road. So, this non-sporty, Guardian-reading, Radio 4-listening reviewer finds sitting in the audience for Marcus Brigstocke, a Guardian-reading posho who made his name appearing on Radio 4’s supremely smug The Now Show, extremely comforting.
Preaching to the converted doesn’t quite cover it. Brigstocke slags off the Coalition, and the asinine Big Society and we all cheer. That, basically, is it for two hours. There’s no denying that Brigstocke has a warm and affable stage presence but actual full-on laughs were few and far between. His interaction with the audience is perfunctory and uninspired and, worst of all, his repeated jokes “David Cam-moron” and muttering “you’ve got to be so careful” after carefully enunciating Jeremy Hunt’s name, all get pretty tired pretty quickly.
He comes to life when he taps into his USP, namely that he understands Cameron and his fellow Etonian monsters, because he comes from the same background as them. It’s genuinely interesting and, most importantly, funny to hear tales of Brigstocke’s emotional stunted parents and his adventures at boarding school. A skit involving a beagle pack is particularly effective.
After the interval, of which there was no damn need, Brigstocke concentrates on unpicking the Big Society for the hollow sham it is (talk about an easy target). There are some great moments and a few guffaws but nothing Earth shattering. If the Coalition’s ruinous policies can be represented by plucking an image at complete random – a steel-toe capped jackboot, then Brigstocke is a comfortable pair of slippers. Or perhaps an ergonomically designed sandal you might see someone wearing on their gap year round Thailand. Or…You get the picture.
Basically, Brigstocke’s schtick is too damn cosy and, sorry, a bit dull. As satire it’s ineffective, as comedy it’s middling and as protest it’s downright useless.
Reviewed on the 19th September