Reginald D. Hunter review - SkinnyFest 2

Article by R.J. Thomson | 14 Aug 2006
Reginald D. Hunter may now be a contented resident of London, but he, and his show, continue to be well and truly American. Neither 'well' nor 'truly' is inapposite here, because Hunter's powerful performance rides a wave of goodwill in its delivery, and he places great personal emphasis on the importance of, quite actively, telling the truth. Hunter's manner is strongly reminiscent of a range of his American precedents, from the ever underrated Bill Cosby to the early exponents of Slam poetry, while traces of classic preacher-style delivery give an invective quality to his wholly secular material.

Quite frank about his desire to be as honest as possible at all times, Hunter is prepared to back it up too, either with personal confessions of his own, or an extended near-diatribe on the importance of taking time to "look at your own asshole". This extended theme is a great source of laughter, as well as some joyfully intrusive audience interaction, but it also serves as a lasting visual metaphor for the personal knowledge and honesty he so values.

Hunter's is a forthright human message that lends itself well to his confident and natural humour. It is only his reluctance to explore spiritual and intellectual doubt that prevents him from developing into a truly exceptional performer.
Reginal D. Hunter - Pride, Prejudice and Niggas, Udderbelly, until August 28 (not 21), 20:15, £13/£11 (£12/£10).