Monday, 4 August 2014

Richard Gadd - Breaking Gadd ****

Another act that I first saw in comedy competition heats is Richard Gadd, who is not your run of the mill stand up comic.

In the early days when he was a new open spot comedian, he played the character of "a new open spot comedian", trying out new material and by playing a slightly unstable version of himself he pretty much managed to de-construct and dissected the whole stand up comedy art form, by being deliberately terrible to the point that he was brilliant.

I saw his first full our show in the basement of the Argyll Bar in Marchmont which was done in front of me, a weird looking couple and four people from his Dad's work. It wasn't the easiest gigs with such a small crowd, but he still provided enough laughs, despite having a nervous breakdown on stage which you weren't sure was part of the act (it was, as his subsequent shows have demonstrated).

Since then he's gone onto much bigger and better things, going full time and performing in a number of London Theatres. So after hearing good things about last year's show "Cheese and Crackwhores" (5 stars in The Skinny being one of many good reviews) I thought it was time to see him again, this time he's moved from the basement to the top floor in the Counting House into a small room which is perfectly intimate if a little warm.

The show itself is indescribable (so much so that I'm tempted to look up the other reviewer who I know was in the room and copy her, but I'll resist the temptation). It's certainly surreal, it's certainly funny and it's certainly shocking in places. My personal highlight was the reaction of the two old dears in the front row to some of Gadd's stranger stunts - I've no idea what attracted them to the show, but they didn't look like they'd seen an episode of Breaking Bad before, put it that way.

More importantly, it's professional with Gadd interacting with audio, video and a co-performer (whose name I can't remember unfortunately) and nailing all the cues despite it being his first show of the Fringe run. It really is more of a theatre piece than a stand up comedy show now, but it's still very very funny.

So if you want to see something a bit different and you aren't offended by trivial things like sex, murder, drug taking or plant molestation then you won't regret an hour with Richard Gadd. You'll laugh, you'll wince, you'll squirm in your chair but most of all, you'll simply be entertained - although like me, you'll probably not be able to describe how or why!

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