- Claire Sawers
- 9 August 2015
This article is from 2015.
Rants and raves about the most obvious modern ills
A promising voiceover sets the scene, transporting the audience to Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park’s famous free-speech spot. Then onto the stage bounds The Man, face painted into a yellow happy acid grin, wearing a black rubber suit with yellow braces and Doc Marten boots. He’s here to soapbox about stuff that’s really pissing him off and a bilious hour follows. His rants revolve around modern ills such as corruption in the Catholic church, needless wars, the cult of Apple, First versus Third World problems, the Age of Kardashian etc.
The Man’s delivery is deliberately unhinged, believing ‘you can’t always play devil’s advocate, sometimes you need to play the devil instead’, but the extreme zaniness quickly begins to grate. Although he has a pop at the sanctimonious and self-righteous, it’s hard not to feel a bit preached down to, especially when he launches into incandescent tirades against WMDs and bad primetime telly, seemingly assuming the audience won’t have already clocked the obvious evils of such things or even be on his side.
Maybe there just aren’t enough new thoughts provoked here to make it good spoken word, or enough laughs to make it good comedy. Paying a tenner for such (un)free speech could rapidly feel like a shocking First World injustice.
Assembly Rooms, 0844 693 3008, until 30 Aug (not 17), 10.30pm, £10 (£9).