Some star comedians play in stadiums, others play in pubs, but few have performed on the floor in front of a stage in a venue they compare to a “basketball court”.
However, American comic Rich Hall brought his trademark deadpan style humour to the Battersea Arts Centre, which is currently being renovated, to an appreciative audience who were sitting on temporary tiered seating (hence the basketball comment).
Hall turned his razor-like wit onto such bastions of British society as Primark and Wetherspoon, but nonetheless he clearly has a fondness for the UK.
“Here people have opinions. In the US they have bumper stickers,” he summarized.
Plus he can drink on stage without being asked if he has a problem.
There are other differences too, he explained as we went through the show. His wife is from Liverpool, and therefore needed to be taught about the dangers of bears. (If you meet a bear, lie on your stomach and cover your face. It won’t save your life but “it´ll increase your chances of an open casket funeral.”)
He also tackled hard hitting issues such as knife crime. (“How nostalgic!”), religion and Michael McIntyre. He even weighed in on the age-old question of what it is women really want in a man.
It was in his off-the-cuff banter with the audience that Hall really hit his stride though. From their jobs (“What is a systems analyst?”) to their relationships, which may or may not be real and seemed to involve everyone sitting in different parts of the theatre(“Does anyone want to own up to a systems analyst?”) Hall kept the audience laughing, even through some technical difficulties.
He brought out his guitar to entertain the masses and serenade beautiful women. He even bust out some jokes penned by his young daughter who, like father like daughter, killed it.
Rich Hall’s deadpan style of comedy has always appealed to me. Going to see him live, particularly in a small venue, feels like spending an evening with a particularly funny friend. His observations about life in the States and Britain are insightful and hilarious.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment.
- Rich Hall is touring around the country between now and June 7, appearing at venues including the Glasgow International Comedy Festival later this month. For more details, go to https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/rich-hall
- Battersea Arts Centre, while currently being renovated, is a beautiful venue with a full and exciting programme. For more on upcoming events, go to www.bac.org.uk
Review by Vicky Knill
Posted on 11/03/2015
by Natasha McGregor