Friday, 1 August 2008

Fringe Preview - Reginald D Hunter: No Country for Grown Men, Pleasance Grand, 30/07/2008

Is Reg Hunter mellowing in his old age? After courting controversy with show titles such as "Pride and Prejudice and Niggas" and "A Mystery Wrapped in a Nigga", and last year responding to the furore with a show called "Fuck You in an Age of Consequence," this year's strapline seems positively tame. It does, however, succinctly sum up the idea that Reg is trying to put across.

The theme of the show is the way in which, in modern life, we are not trusted to be grown-ups, even in a matter such as choosing what to do when you find there is no paper in the pub toilet. His beef is that men are not being allowed to act like men any more, but this isn't a macho thing, just a question of disposing of the "rules" and letting us get back to using our basic common sense.

Hunter has some great routines and a few killer lines in here, but this being a preview show, it has to be said that it was yet to really gel into a coherent whole. There were a few points where it was clear that he was struggling to remember what he had planned to talk about next, and one or two of the topics seemed a little random and scattered.

But that's what previews are for, and it was equally clear that there was enough good stuff in here that, once he's up and firing on all cylinders, it will live up to the quality we have come to expect.

And of course Hunter always has the main weapon in his arsenal, that deep-voiced warm soothing southern drawl that you could listen to all day. Combined with the baffled grin with which he punctuates his most salient points, it makes him an extraordinarily charismatic performer, which gives him the freedom to draw the audience to him rather than reaching for laughs and punchlines.

As more of an initial overview than a finished product, it is difficult to say, but I'm not sure this show is ever going to reach the heights of some of his previous outings, but nonetheless it maintains a very high standard, and in its late night slot could make an excellent end to a packed Fringe day.

1 comment:

Nathan Pianu said...

Man your so Wrong his show this year was outstanding, seeing him last night i was in stichies all the way! he tuched subjects that other people wouldn't dare whisper about, he was crude, dirty and hilarious! his flow on stage was brilliant, he never froze or hesitated in other words he had control of the stage! he his a must see and i recommend it to any one who can take a joke you'll love it!