Rich Hall at the Octagon on Sunday 19th September 2010
By cardinal_sin | Monday, September 20, 2010, 23:52
The comedian Rich Hall was at the Octagon Theatre, Yeovil last night and if you missed him you are obviously a fool.
Despite the sell out performance there were a couple of empty seats “obviously people are spoilt for choice in Yeovil on a Sunday night” he quipped, bitterly bemoaning the fact he couldn’t even sell out a small theatre, but how he’ll boast when he gets home of playing an 8-sided venue in front of 27,000 people when many can only sell out a 4-sided one.
There’s too much material to recall, but the craggy faced, gravelly faced grumpy man indulged in a spectacularly vitriolic rant against Kraft (the American multinational who have recently bought out Cadbury and will ruin the chocolate). He treated to us a barely believable recollection of how he met Don Johnson and the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and how he studied for the British Citizenship test, was not asked to play Al Gore’s Live Earth concerts. Material on the US Debt, our differing attitudes to the War on Terror and the American who travelled to Afghanistan with a dialysis machine (was he taking the pee?) is hilarious. Rich is sharp, spontaneous, scruffy, and even shambolic at times: he’s seen swigging away relentlessly at a bottle (of water in the first half and beer in the second) and constantly drying his palms on his jeans.
Pin sharp jokes, including references to the town of Yeovil itself (the banning of heelies, glove making etc) and some great and very funny interaction with the audience (in particular young teacher Dominic in the front row, whose responses under scrutiny were impressively sharp too), and plenty of self-deprecating humour about having to do his own introduction and how despite having a face like an unmade bed he is the best looking of his family, made the night speed along splendidly.
The second half included amongst plenty more jokes (serial killers are a favourite subject of mine too Rich) a few musical interludes. Admittedly seeing his keyboards and guitar on stage after the first half I was expecting some material by his more famous alter ego Otis Crenshaw, but this wasn’t to be (which isn’t a criticism incidentally). Instead there were a couple of love songs, some made-up-on-the-spot ditties and a couple of numbers with his road manager accompanying him on guitar.
Despite having the best seat in the house I found his delivery a little too mumbly at times, particularly in the first few minutes, but there was very little else to pick fault with during the two hours or so he was on stage.
His tour encompasses 60-odd dates so if you get the chance to check him out I recommend you do!