Marcus Brigstocke at Latitude 2015 | Gig review by Steve Bennett

Marcus Brigstocke at Latitude 2015

Gig review by Steve Bennett

Latitude stalwart Marcus Brigstocke has been to every one of these festivals and says he doesn’t really like all the jokes about what a middle-class nirvana it is. But then the evidence gets too much to ignore, and he finds himself joining in.

As a leftie, Radio 4 regular and owner of a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house in London he fits the demographic perfectly – and starts his set kicking at some open doors sure to endear him to the like-minded audience. No surprises about his stances on gay marriage, Ukip or Russell Brand’s ballot-box abstention. And later a heartfelt plea to save the NHS from selloff elicits a huge ovation.

Brigstocke’s first political analogy envisages the parties in the schoolyard, and doesn’t contain many surprises (the weedy Lib Dem trying to cosy up to the Tory bully, for instance), but is slickly executed. His take on Europe shows a greater depth of knowledge and the sort of metaphors you’ll remember, as he depicts Greece gatecrashing a nightclub playing hardcore German techno. The comedy’s not such much in the opinions as in Brigstocke’s wobbly accents, but they are smokescreen behind which he can sneak in a message like an ill-prepared nation trying to sneak into a monetary union by concealing its sovereign debt…

He talks briefly about his divorce – which is how we come to know what sort of house he lives in – being back on the dating scene, and, hilariously, Gwyneth Paltrow steaming her vagina. You read that right. He’s surely the only comic brave enough to be addressing the most essential of topics.

The field of fortysomething comedians talking about their failing bodies is more crowded, but there’s wit in the way he begrudgingly comes to accept it. Plus the topic opens the door for an excellent routine about the humiliation of his weak bladder, and the travails of going for a testicular scan, both delivered with due theatricality . For all the strident politics, it seems that talking about his balls is what the audience really wants from him.

Review date: 19 Jul 2015
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Reviewed at: Latitude

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