Not pretty but very punchy
This article is from 2008.
Rick Shapiro is introduced as a man 'fighting himself', but for tonight's performance it's the theatre tech who is taking most of the comedian's acerbic blows. Trying to sync up highly designed video graphics with Shapiro's meandering mind is an impossible task and throughout the performance a bewildered audience is distracted by a bikini clad woman with a machine gun and a penguin. Whilst unexpected and bizarre, the relevance to his talk of fisting, blowjobs and the occasional political statement is never explained.
Shapiro isn't afraid to lay into his own shambolic approach when something takes a lead balloon dive, and to his credit, revealing the mechanics of the show works on an absurdist level. The comic's brutal honesty coupled with his wiry-framed physicality keeps the audience frightened but attentive. Walking into a Rick Shapiro show is like stepping into the New Jersey stand-up's stream-of-consciousness: it's not a pretty place but the manic energy will sweep you along.
GRV, 220 2987, until Aug 24 (not 12), 7.45pm, £9–£10, (£8–£9).