Richard Gadd: Waiting for Gaddot (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Richard Gadd: Waiting for Gaddot

Self-referential hour of self-loathing and awkward stand-up

Richard Gadd has clearly been studying a lot of other people’s comedy. How else would he know how to deconstruct it so well? He clumsily breaks his set down to visual gags that don’t work, set-ups delivered after punchlines, infuriating suspense games and Alan Partridge-style tragi-male comedy. Not to mention cameos from other comedians as ex-Bird of a Feather Lesley Joseph shows up in a pre-recorded bit and the excellent Ed Aczel nearly steals Gadd’s thunder with his brief cameo.

In a typically meta spot of self-referential, self-critiquing, live self-loathing, Gadd’s planted heckler sarcastically mocks his style: ‘it’s unique, so it doesn’t need to be funny’. Plenty parts aren’t funny, for sure: the graphically violent and forcefully odd bits are awkwardly unsuccessful, but the laughs are big when they do show up late. The BSL-interpreted song sequence is glorious, and the live Facebooking, FaceTiming and texting is a clever touch, too.

Eavesdropping on Gadd as he squirms through his multiple neuroses and father issues would be much harder work if he didn’t make it so entertaining (in the bits that are actually entertaining). Luckily his knowing, surreal style makes this an enjoyable hybrid of performance theatre and dysfunctional stand-up.

Banshee Labyrinth, 226 0000, until 30 Aug (not 17), 11.30pm, free.

Richard Gadd: Waiting for Gaddot

A wild ride from the troubled comedian.