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28 October 2014
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Rich Hall
Rich Hall in his fishing hat

Rich Hall - Live at WAC

By Citizen journalist Hannah Barnwell
Citizen journalist Hannah Barnwell went along to see comedian Rich Hall at Warwick Arts Centre on Sunday, 11 February.

Craig Campbell, support (Canada v. England)

Craig Campbell is an anti-Canadian Canadian, who lives in Devon.  He lives here as it is the only place in England where he does not get stared at.

A lot of the jokes in Campbell’s act compared the actions of the English to the actions of Canadians, and how his experiences have differed whilst living in the two countries.  Notable differences appear to be that in England you can order cheese on the internet, and the road systems include roundabouts.

Campbell was very laid back and comfortable on stage, and was very easy to watch.  His jokes were refreshing, and he had a big presence on stage. A very strong warm up act.

Rich Hall (America v. England)

Rich Hall is an anti-American who is proud to be American (try working that one out!).  From the outset he explained that he was just there to tell jokes, and not to change the world, which was a good job, as it was unlikely that George Bush would take any notice of him anyway. 

His performance was not quite what I had expected. Having mainly seen Hall on panel shows such as QI and Never Mind The Buzzcocks, I was expecting a dry, deadpan, quick witted performance. Obviously TV editing has somewhat streamlined his style of comedy, as what we got was quite different. There was still an element of deadpan to his performance, but he was a lot more relaxed than I had expected him to be. 

He focused on the topics he knew most about, being American and all, and terrorism and Bush were both tackled with an interesting twist. I am so used to seeing English comedians ‘Bash Bush’, but hearing an American’s perspective put a different slant on the comedy.

Hall took certain major topics and answered them from his own viewpoint. A particular favourite of mine was what the link is between Osama Bin Laden and Colonel Sanders.  Another subject he tackled was animal testing, particularly that he does not see the harm in testing conditioner on rabbits if it makes them fluffy and manageable. He took these subjects and looked at them from an unusual angle, which made his performance unique.

Hall’s strength lies in his music. Unfortunately there was not as much of it in the show as I would have liked.  He performed a great improvised piece based on Gary the Auditor, who was sitting in the front row, which was brilliant. Okay, so some of the lines did not rhyme, but his imagination knows no bounds.  He finished with a song about boxing, which is worth the money alone – I still cannot stop singing it now!  It is just a shame there were not more songs throughout the show – as I feel they really are his forte.

Citizen 1000

One of the highlights of the evening was, following an audience’s request for Campbell to return to the stage, Campbell improvised a song while Hall played the piano. It had obviously put them on the spot but the performance was fantastic, it really showed them both as wonderful improvisers.

Overall, although not what I was expecting, I was pleasantly surprised by the show. I did not laugh out loud but there were a good few rib-tickling moments.

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Hannah is part of BBC Coventry & Warwickshire's Citizen 1000 project, for more information and to find out how to apply, click on the link below:

last updated: 12/02/07
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