Reginald D Hunter (5 stars)

This article is from 2006.

An audience at a Reginald D Hunter show is quite something. There are old folks, there are young ones, there are couples and singles, there is black and there is white. Good Christ, there was even Neil and Christine Hamilton. And what all of those disparate people had in common was an appreciation of the hottest stand-up living and working in Britain today. How Neil rocked back and forth when he and Reg had a bit of jolly banter about having the stand-up become the pair’s new home help. The real comedic quality, though, emanated from the man who roamed his stage with exquisite poise and an arsenal of killer material.

If you want a theme for the show, it’s about the deals (for deal, read compromise) we make all the time to get through the day. There’s not many people who can be so honest with themselves and others in this life that they threaten to alienate everyone, but Hunter is one of them. This has led to problems with his family, his friends and his lovers. And when one major parental revelation rattles out of the cupboard, Hunter and his audience are left with a bleak silence to ponder.

This is where Reg rises high above the pack. He is never afraid to let a pause dominate a moment if it adds to a routine’s potency and there are a handful of those here. The effect is both intensely funny and actually quite moving. You may not agree with every bit of the Hunter gallery of truth but there seems little or no chance that you won’t find yourself laughing out loud at it.

UdderBELLY, 0870 745 3083, until 28 Aug (not 14, 21), 8.15pm, £11-£13 (£10-£12).

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