Marcus Brigstocke: Planet Corduroy
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Award-winning stand up from star of Radio 4's Now Show, Museum Of Everything. television's We Are History, The Savages and cinema's Love Actually.
Marcus Brigstocke has the superiority and contempt only generations of poshness can imbue. But as a woolly-minded liberal, he has found more deserving targets than the oiks and the servants.
After favouring a more character-driven approach, this is his first stand-up show here in a while, thus giving him plenty of back catalogue to draw from. The discipline of working on Radio 4's The Now Show has added a hefty pile of topical, or at least once-topical, material to the pile, too.
What he's not so good at is the banter, which makes it a surprise he tries to sustain it for quite as long as he does. And when a drunken heckler derails the whole show with the surprisingly valid criticism that he's mocking the troops in Iraq, it takes him a while to regain control. When you're floored by someone who couldn't avoid bumping into the furniture on her way in, that has to be cause for concern.
But that was the only distraction, even if a substantial one, from his eloquent derision of all that's wrong with the world. From American foreign policy, obviously, to less sexy topics such as the EU constitution, Brigstocke combines a savvy distain with a keen wit.
Despite his natural middle-class reticence, he does get fired with passion at the wrongs he sees, even suggesting he offer his own wife up for rape in the name of his liberal values a routine which finds itself outside the audience's comfort zone, unsurprisingly.
His ruthless demolition of the loans and Claims Direct-style ads preying on the poor and vulnerable, which is a roof-raising staple of his normal stand-up set, is simply superlative, cutting brilliantly to the point. But his biggest bugbear is the Daily Mail-reading intolerants from his own social group. They may be a frequent comedy target, but surely deserve everything they get.
In this, as in so much of his material, it's the way he articulates his scorn that makes Brigstocke such a classy comic.
Michael Monkhouse - 26/09/2007
Mr Brigstocke doesn’t have the wit and persona to sustain an entire show. Satire’s great, but it kinda loses its bite when you’re quoting five-year-old Now Show material. Arrogance is great, but it kinda collapses when you can’t handle hecklers who’re nastier than you. And ripping all hell outa yer audience is great, but when you suggest selling your wife to immigrants and meet stone-cold silence… And when Marcus gets on to American foreign policy and the EU constitution, I feel it’s all been done before. Brigstocke’s cool. And tenacious. But maybe he oughta step back and decide why he became a comic in the first place before launching more gags at us.
Rob Deb - 20/09/2007
Saw this show at the shaw theater for the DVDrecording last night,and thought it was great! Andy Robinson did a top job as a warm up man, doing the comedic equivalent of a Goalies job (only commented on if they fail with no one caring they do well) on a night billed as a Brigstocke show first and formost. I thought Brigstocke's material was sharp and certainly better informed then half the audeince (myself included) and still recieved the laughter and often applause they deserved. Having only seen Brigstocke occasionally in the past few years I think this, as a DVD recording, can be understood as having a part 'greatest hits' element simply in introducing the man to a newer audience who won't have had the chance to see him live. The earlier comment about Bill Hicks is unwarrented, a slight aside is the only thing I noticed reminiscent, and was something thats more comedic parlance these days than an attiributable piece. Yes I will be buying the dvd
Dave Angel - 15/02/2005
This was the worst show I have ever seen at Edinburgh. Brigstocks material was poor, second hand and ill-conceived. At one point, to my astonishment, he word for word ripped off Bill Hicks. Hackish and smug are the two adjectives that sum up this show. And I so loved his Edinburgh 'awards show' in 2002.
John H. - 01/01/2005
A comedian teeting on the line between genius and insane. His rants were fantastic, even the scene about immigrants wanting his wife, which only served to make people think about stuff they say about immigrants to the UK.
Christine - 07/09/2004
Great. Despite having used old Now Show routines, and thus being less topical than possible, Marcus came across as an intelligent and astute comedian and i greatly enjoyed his show..
Nick - 31/08/2004
A truly poor impression of Ben Elton. A dreadful experience never to be repeated.
Jim - 24/08/2004
Bill - 15/08/2004
How he's managed to get by with such little talent is surprising. No stage persona and no natural humour.