Hal Cruttenden: Chubster (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Hal Cruttenden: Chubster

An enjoyably catty and room-splitting affair

The 'Chubster', as Hal Cruttenden is called by his daughters, arrives in a camp flurry of interpretative dance before launching into his queenie anecdotes about UK culture. Bearded and archly theatrical, he's a bit like Stewie from Family Guy merged in a freak lab accident with Eddie Izzard and Brian Blessed. The crowd warms fast to Cruttenden's bubbly but cynical live act; based on where the laughs fall, many are here after seeing him on the likes of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice or Have I Got News for You.

It's certainly a strong start, as he describes his catty-close relationships with his Ulster wife and teenage daughters, and self-mocking bits about his hunger for fame (Alan Partridge got there first with the networking at a funeral bit though). But things dip and waver as he drops in his pro-nukes, 'handguns are sexy' and 'I love the Queen' material, which probably splits the crowd into those who feel the same, or quite frankly just don't. Lots of lukewarm banter with the audience about rugby and football gets him sidetracked too, and leads to a few too many flabby bits in the set.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug (not 15), 9pm, £11–£15 (£10–£14).

Hal Cruttenden: It's Best You Hear It From Me

  • 3 stars

Observational humour from the TV regular.