Hal Cruttenden: Straight Outta Cruttenden (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Hal Cruttenden: Straight Outta Cruttenden

credit: Steve Ullathorne

Darkly astute on his own hypocrisy but skirting close to the occasional stereotype

The queenier, bitchier and camper Hal Cruttenden gets, the better he is. A self-described fairly posh west Londoner in his mid-40s, he’s hacked off with his own naturally smiley persona and non-threatening demeanour. A bit like a grinning, middle-class Rodney Dangerfield, he gets no respect, even from his teenage daughter who calls her dad ‘a chubster’ and once asked him if he was gay.

So he channels some of that bubbling irritation into one hour of tongue-in-cheek snide and auto-ridicule. He’s off and flying when he calls out Facebook bad etiquette (not for him those online memorial pages), and darkly on-point when he deals with his own hypocrisies: he likes to think of himself as a republican but was utterly starstruck when he got to perform at the Royal Variety Show, and would like to be anti-private schools but finds Grange Hill terrifying.

The ground gets shakier when he tries to go deeper with the politics; his Scottish and Northern Irish stereotypes seem firmly stuck in the 80s, but he recovers with his faux-sob story about being a middle-aged orphan. Grumpy and mischievous in equal parts, his is a wicked blend of the jolly and the jaded.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 8pm, £13–£16 (£11–£15).

Hal Cruttenden: It's Best You Hear It From Me

  • 3 stars

Observational humour from the TV regular.