Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bitesize Fringe Review #1: Russell Kane - Gaping Flaws

In a recent interview, I heard Russell Kane say that he's happy to do work for anyone kind enough to offer it to him, whether it's E4 or BBC Four - "I have the hair for one and the mind for the other" he said, with a flourish reminiscent of his namesake, Mr Brand.

I was looking forward to this then, expecting some wonderful collision of high and low culture, and while that's clearly what Kane is aiming for, I'm not sure it really comes off. The show's title refers to the fact that we British like people to be imperfect, in direct opposition to, say, Americans, who openly strive for perfection in all walks of life. When you're taking this rather commonplace conceit as the focus of your show, you've got to be pretty darn innovative in how you expand on it, and I just don't think Kane went far enough beyond the obvious.

This isn't to say that Kane isn't incredibly fun to watch, however. The most energetic comic I have seen at the Fringe, he bounces around the stage constantly, matching every line to a physical movement - related or not. He's clearly a talented performer who delights in letting his intelligence slip through in little asides every now and then, but he is here unfortunately restricted by a rather uninspiring theme.

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