Russell Kane has a new show out entitled Right Man Wrong Age which we caught at Glive in Guildford. His performance is as energetic, hilarious, electric, hysterical and as explosive as ever. However one thing has changed, he now has a baby daughter and like most great comedians (he is one of the very best of this generation) he takes his material from his own experiences and life. Clearly having a baby was a life changing moment and Russell is keen to share this in all its glories and vertiginous pitfalls.
Russell is truly a one man show, the stage has no props or banners announcing who he is, it is as bare as can be, only the theatre’s own lights are on as he comes bouncing out like a camp Tasmanian devil. He announces that the first half will be a warm up for the second half of the show where he will truly reveal all and get down and dirty.
In fact the first half is his way of getting to know the audience, he is in full improvisation mode, chatting to people in the front rows, taking names and background and going wherever these take him. It is a herculean work out just watching him question, scamper and bomb about the stage. His fitness level must be off the charts after a run of these shows. Though he confesses his stamina probably stems from 27 separate visits to Ibiza to partake of the night spots and everything else.
He jerks and breaks his lanky body to underscore every story and punchline, physically enacting the trials and tribulations he has chosen to present before us, as he recounts the momentous and character forming events that have shaped his life and worldview. His father is as usual a major player in the show, despite passing on a decade before. The contrast between them is a rich vein of material, heartache and humour, bordering on a rant at the world and clash of cultures and temperament.
However it is when we get to the second half that we reach the new gravitational influences on Russell, in the form of Lindsay his wife and their baby daughter. Essex man meets Mancunian lass and kapow out comes baby. This is like watching a man develop in comedic big bangs, each new atomic instance developing to a momentous event that has changed him for ever. He wants to share this. He makes this very clear, he has had a epiphany, a huge revelation, the light has been truly turned on and he has been blinded by it. The sheer passion he pours out at the audience is limitless. As he says himself at one point “the tension in the room is palpable and we are sharing this”.
He is out of control but in total control, it is a virtuosos performance, not without its errors, but taken as a sum of its parts, it is hysterical, emotional and deeply affecting. He does not reach everyone, but those he does are deeply moved. His delivery is incredible, I look forward to watching that comedy genius mature even further and cannot wait till the next show.
If you can get tickets, go!