Reviewer: Matt Forrest
It would be fair to say that Reginald D Hunter arrived on stage at the Lowry a little more buoyant than usual: anyone who has seen Hunter live before or on his numerous TV appearances on Have I Got News for You or 8 Out of 10 Cats will be familiar with his trademark laidback, easy going personality and delivery. However, he is a bit more ‘refreshed’ and chilled out than usual this evening due to having a bit of a celebration as political events unfold in France. It’s a unique start to what promises to be an entertaining night of comedy.
As with previous shows, Hunter discusses politics, race and society in general, which are all neatly tied into Hunter’s own personal experiences: standout moments include his foray into the literary world and his unusual friendship with a 75-year-old lady. Hunter attempts to explain British racism to his American family examining how the Irish, Welsh, Scottish and on certain dates of the football calendar the English can hate the English.
There is also some solid material about a spot of sibling rivalry in the Hunter household and a very funny if slightly uncomfortable story of Hunter making a documentary for the BBC, and the BBC asking him to film a piece at Gettysburg, While wearing a confederate uniform!
The show isn’t perfect, with Hunter occasionally losing his place in the show (maybe a few too many Bloody Marys?) and at times going off on a tangent, but he always manages to rein it in. With meaty subject matter such as Brexit, Donald Trump, race, and sexuality being covered, there is something for everyone, however, the flip side to that is there is also something in there to offend as well. Hunter’s show does contain some risqué and at times brutal material that could easily cause offense:I know people that would absolutely love 90% of Hunter’s show but would hate 10%, which for me this is what makes Hunter’s show so fascinating, you’re never quite sure what you are going to get, and more importantly when the next big laugh/shock is coming. This also works beautifully with Hunter’s slow, calm, almost reassuring delivery so that when something controversial or something with a great deal of merit is said it has a great deal more impact.
The evening’s opening act: Glen Wool is a Canadian comic full of confidence and charisma and walking the fine line between laugh out loud and near-the-knuckle offensive, he’s going to be a name you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the future and quite rightly so.
On the whole, this is a thought-provoking and at times challenging show, you may not like or agree with all the material but you’ll certainly take notice and be talking about it for days, maybe weeks after!
Reviewed May 7, 2017 | Image: Contributed