'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Reginald D Hunter – No Country For Grown Men Review

Reginald D Hunter – No Country For Grown Men

Reginald D Hunter, creator of last years Fringe show ‘Pride & Prejudice & Niggas’ comes back with a title he admits is more neutral, but a show much more ‘f**ked up’.
Certainly the audience (many a quiet, middle-class couple to be seen) were shocked by much of Hunter’s edgy material. Yet the moral indignation tended to follow an instinctive laugh, usually a sign of a good joke. In terms of raw energy, Hunter exudes a confident assertiveness that makes many British comedians look pathetically inadequate in comparison. Added to this, Hunter is not simply a ‘big black mother f**ker’ being crass – his comedy is intelligent and his observations astute.

Unfortunately he relies far too much on his own novelty, performing to a (mainly) white audience. Many of his comments revolve primarily around his colour and this becomes predictable and tired. His comedy also ‘crosses the line’ morally, and revels in tearing up the accepted rules of comedy etiquette. Your reviewer is a great believer of freedom of expression, and a laugh is a laugh regardless of the content. However, Hunter often relies more on sheer shock value – and make no mistake you will be shocked – to get a reaction from the audience, rather than decent jokes.

Reginald D Hunter could teach many a British comedian a thing or two about good stand-up, his assured presence and sharp-witted comedy putting many to shame. Yet his delivery lacks precision and jokes often degenerate into long swearing rants, or merely shocking opinions – neither of which works particularly well.

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