Reviewer: Matt Forrest
It’s rather fortunate that we have Canadian comic Craig Campbell on hand this evening: he adds a spot of perspective on the supposed second coming of ‘the beast from the east’, and that the inclement weather we’re experiencing is nothing compared to the weather they get in over in his native land. This provides Campbell with the perfect excuse to do some neat, well thought out comparisons between the UK, Canada and the USA, with routines about travel and dialect show-casing the stronger elements of Campbell’s act.
Those expecting gags and a string of one-liners need to look elsewhere; Campbell has a pretty chilled- out, laid-back approach as he meanders through story after story with enough volume and energy to hold your attention without having to go over-the-top.
Campbell regularly dips into the treasure trove of the audience for some comedy golden nuggets which, as we all know, can be death or glory for some comics: however these clearly demonstrate Campbell’s quick-wit and an impressive ability to get the most of the material presented to him. This ranged from the joys of running a petrol station to a recent Twitter scandal involving a cancer charity.
Following the interval, it’s more of the same with Campbell casting his eye on the perils of a recent trip to Russia (although quite wisely avoiding the happenings of a recent news story), this involves a frighteningly accurate Russian accent, as well as the troubles of arranging lunch out in Norway. Again well observed and very funny. He finishes off with a routine about the joys of helping to deliver his first child, which drew huge belly laughs and a few winces in equal measure.
Campbell offers a fine balance of the inane and smart and can seemingly adapt to any scenario presented to him. He has a scatter-gun approach to his routine which is as fun as it is refreshing and leaves you unsure where you will end up. Whilst his routine isn’t the most original piece of stand-up you’ll see, and it certainly doesn’t have a political edge to it, what it will provide you with is a good, fun night out with an intelligent, charming and likeable storyteller who can spin a good tale or two.
Reviewed on 18 March 2018 | Image: Contributed