Raymond & Mr Timpkins Revue
Reginald D Hunter
Rev Obadiah Steppenwolf III
Roy Chubby Brown
Ruth E Cockburn
Ayoade, the Cambridge-educated son of a Nigerian father and Swedish mother, was briefly a stand-up on the London circuit before attracting attention in the Perrier-winning Garth Marenghi spoof horror shows.
With fellow ex-Footlighter Matthew Holness, he co-wrote the Perrier nominated Edinburgh show Garth Marenghi's Fright Knight, the sequel of which, Garth Marenghi's Netherhed, won him the award in 2001. It transferred to Channel 4, where it became a cult hit; its DVD becoming a bestseller.
The pair landed a follow-up, a six-part chat show featuring Ayoade’s urbane publisher character at home in his glamorous bachelor pad: Man To Man With Dean Learner.
Ayoade was also part of Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding's original Mighty Boosh cast, playing villain Dixon Bainbridge. However, by this time it came to air, he was under contract by Channel 4 and was only able to act in the pilot. He since returned to play the shaman Saboo in the show's second series.
In 2005, he played the role of Ned Shanks in Chris Morris' and Charlie Brooker's sitcom about trendy media types, Nathan Barley
The following year he played the technically brilliant but socially awkward Moss in Channel 4's The IT Crowd; and also landed the role when it was remade as an American TV pilot.
Ayoade also directed, co-wrote and co-starred (with Matt Berry) in BBC Three’s AD/BC: A Rock Opera.
If you only know Richard Ayoade as the nutty, uber-geeky, perennial man-child Moss from the IT Crowd, his directorial debut will come as a surprise… but a most welcome one.
Submarine is a low-key coming-of-age comedy-drama set in Eighties retrospect against the grimly melancholic pallor of an anonymous industrial South Wales town. Battle: Los Angeles, it ain’t. What it is, however, is a beautifully observed, quirkily funny and touchingly sweet reminiscence about the awkwardness of first love.
Ayoade has previously cut his directorial teeth with music videos, and the self-centred sensibilities of heartfelt indie-band introspection are writ large here, bolstered by the languorous soundtrack created by Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys.
It captures beautifully the oxymoronic adolescent jumble of bleak know-it-all certainties and crippling insecurities rattling around the head of central character, Oliver Tate. A social outsider, he imagines himself dead, but only to fantasise about how crippled by grief his desolate schoolmates would be. In truth, he is so detached that he has few friends – a solitary submarine, cruising unnoticed beneath everyone else’s gaze is the titular metaphor – so becomes a reluctant bully in an attempt to fit in and impress the aloof Jordana Bevan.
They do, indeed, form a suitably uncomfortable relationship; Oliver seeing it unfold through the lens of the imaginary film crew recording his life – an idea used sparingly, but just enough for some wry in-jokes from Ayoade. And if you are going to have your life on film, this offbeat comedian is the man to do it. He, and cinematographer Erik Wilson, can make a chemical plant look romantic; while motifs such as Jordan’s red coat – surely a cinematic homage - put a strong visual stamp on proceedings.
At home, things are no better for Oliver, as his drab parents, Jill and Lloyd, a former Open University lecturer, limp through a repressed, lifeless marriage until their predictable routine becomes threatened by the arrival of one of Jill’s old flames, the appallingly self-important lifestyle coach – and wannabe ninja – Graham. Such characters – and a few set-pieces such as an attempted pet poisoning – are the stuff of sitcom, but Ayoade depicts them all with such subdued realism, it ensures this is a sweet comedy of gauche behaviour, not broad slapstick.
Paddy Considine plays the preposterous Graham with perfect comic pitch and hilarious mullet, but it is the younger stars who undoubtedly carry this impeccably observed film. As Oliver, Craig Roberts is emotionally vacant, yet somehow compelling, while as the unromantic, borderline-pyromaniac teenage femme fatale Jordana, Yasmin Paige is a revelation.
The quirks of the characters, the knowing, unsentimental direction and – most of all, the warm charm that pervades every scene means that Submarine certainly reaches hidden depths. Especially for those who remember the crippling social discomfort of adolescence – rather than those still suffering it.\r\n
|Date of live review: Friday 18th Mar, '11|
Review by Steve Bennett
Show - Film -
Tuesday 1st Aug, '00-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2000 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2001 -
What a terrible waste of a cult talent, to Ayoade I say this: Stop denying us, get out of your director's chair, drop your clapper board and do a national tour! You're as big as Fielding
The Sidney Poitier of British comedy!
As a stand-up comedian Richard shows great potential with a set on McDonald's and it's effects on children, although a routine that is drifting slowly towards a Morgan Spurlock message he manages to turn that around.
Probably the best new comedy character actor in the UK.
Richard Ayoade is a total legend! Im loving all his work, especially Darkplace - cant get enough of it
I love The IT crowd ! he is a very talented actor. Moss is the best character ever. I love how uncomfortable he is around everything, especially bras
I love Richard Ayoade, I'm about to queue for hours upon hours in London to meet the delightful chap. He is pure comedy gold
Sheeer class. Can't stop watching the IT Crowd
22 Rathbone Street
contact by email
Office: 020 7287 1112
IT Crowd Series 3
AD/BC: A Rock Opera
Man To Man With Dean Learner
The IT Crowd. Series 1
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
Garth Marenghi's Fright Knight
Edinburgh Fringe 2001
Garth Marenghi's Netherhead
Bunny And The Bull