Review: Reginald D Hunter
Reginald D Hunter
Greenwich Comedy Festival
IN A NUTSHELL
A lack of focus from the headliner dulled what was otherwise an evening of potent wit and charm.
"He's a bit too intellectual for me," remarked a Greenwich Comedy Festival punter to his friend behind me as my companion and I left Reginald D Hunter's gig for the long trip north on the DLR.
But that wasn't why this powerful comedian's set felt a little tepid.
He's a man who's either been blessed with or has woked hard to develop a presence on the stage that means the simpler jokes he tells trickle off his tongue like gold dust, tickling the eager ears of his audience.
These moments are the ones the crowd came for.
The quips that have made his name as a charming, cutting panel show face.
The line that left Sian Lloyd doubled up live on BBC breakfast.
And he could have probably done that kind of material all night and sent the man I overheard home happy.
But Hunter's an intelligent comic and while there's an audience willing to listen, there are arguments to be made.
He's not quite a firebrand though and his calm, discursive delivery did little to help when he appeared to lose the thread of his main theme - his hatred of dismissiveness in all its forms, be it sexism or racism.
This lack of clarity was especially evident in comparison to the other acts on the bill.
Frisky and Mannish hit our ears with sophisticated and slick musical parodies and chirpy Irish Londoner Andrew Maxwell had us roaring our appreciation as he defended London's c**** (80 per cent of the capital's population) against John Terry's vicious assault.
The former delighted especially with their versions of Bush's Wuthering Heights as re-imagined by Kate Nash and Karen Carpenter put through the lens of N'Dubz.
Compere Jarred Christmas also blustered successfully, delivering his offensive brand of hectoring firmly, if choppily at times.
I don't want you to go away thinking I didn't enjoy Hunter's set. It's just that I expected more from a man who clearly has the talent to blow us all away but perhaps isn't trying hard enough.