Russell Kane review - SkinnyFest 2

Article by Ally Brown | 14 Aug 2006
Like a sugar-coated soft-chew bar called Tourette's, Russell Kane bounds and slithers and twitches around the stage, reminding us that it's important to start with a long-winded simile, and a reference to the war, if anyone's going to be taken pretentiously these days. And badgers, too -got to mention them early. His concept – that a mathematical equation can be used to measure any individual's confidence or importance fakery – apparently doesn't translate well to American audiences, and it is indeed a very British, post-modern humour - though he won't touch that latter phrase with a bargepole. It's knowing, and clever, yeah? It's also hilarious from start-to-finish, as he thrusts about revealing Shakespeare as the rubbish comedian we all knew he was at school, exposing the fallacy of the jobsworth, and explaining how the ultimate antidote to pretentiousness is silliness. Kane has a rambling, hyperactive style, though it's clearly a very carefully constructed narrative, flexible enough for ad-libbing with the audience and quick-witted brainwaves that leave the audience floored with laughter – often the audience themselves being the butt of the joke. The only remaining puzzlement is why Kane is still playing in such a small venue – it can only be a matter of time before his schizoid physique and quick-fire barbs become subjects of national demand. In other words – it's dead funny, innit.
Russell Kane's Theory of Pretension, Pleasance Courtyard, until August 28 (not 15), 21:40, £9.50/£8.50 (£8/£7).