Hard man goes for soft targets
This article is from 2007.
Chopper is the ‘international ambassador of hard’. So claims Heath Franklin as he brings us his successful sketch show character, based on real-life jailbird psycho Mark Brandon Read. The premise is simple: Chopper pops up wherever you least expect him, such as a bingo hall or an educational video, and adds his notorious, twisted view on the world, usually involving much swearing, threatening and gun waving. All of this produces a one-joke show, and the punchline is in the title: ‘harden the fuck up’.
With a radio mic attached to his face so that he can keep hold of his beer, Chopper cuts a bullish figure on stage, berating everything with signs of pretension from four-wheel drives to hyphenated surnames. Disappointingly for a caricature hitman, the material is full of easy targets, including Paris Hilton and Emo kids. Stereotypes are in force in a slide show presentation of the world as Chopper discerns which countries are hard and which need to ‘harden the fuck up’. He knows better than to mock the Scots despite the large audience consisting mainly of fellow Australians, whose vehement approval confirms that this is one for the fans. (Emma Lennox)
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 27 Aug, 8pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).