Russell Kane: Smokescreens & Castles DVD
DVD can be the kiss of death for stand-up comedy, but Russell Kane's Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning show Smokescreens and Castles makes the transfer seamlessly.
From the moment he steps onto the stage, Kane’s energy is tangible. Making eye contact with all sections of the audience, he strides continuously across the stage. For the DVD audience, the visual spectacle is important, and this works greatly in his favour.
His 2010 show is hugely personal, focussing on memories and stories of his family, especially his dad. His descriptions of his father embody the phrase ‘painfully honest’ – he never shies away from the often slightly uncomfortable facts of his racist, homophobic, man’s man dad, but embraces them and makes them good-naturedly hilarious. Though his jokes are frequently close to the bone, his genuine affection for his subject glows through and his honesty is always endearing, never derisive.
Kane is very clearly an intelligent man, and there is no question that he can craft an excellent show. Through his memories, he eloquently discusses class and racism, while dipping into structured tangents about accent, cars, and recycling. By chooses a topic truly close to his heart, Kane shows himself to be a very likeable and thoughtful individual – a person who sees other’s flaws and embraces them, even uses them as positives. He pokes fun at his roots and his hometown because he feels such affection for them. [Russell Kane]