Tim Minchin: So Fucking Rock

DVD review

The newly released DVD of Rowan Atkinson's Eighties live shows concludes with him miming playing the drums, a skillfull piece of physical comedy. And that's exactly where Tim Minchin's new show starts, with the Australian musical sensation playing his imaginary kit in a single spotlight. But while Atkinson's humour is in close-up, Minchin's comes on a much larger scale, and soon this drum solo becomes a fully-mimed band.

For Minchin size is important, and because of his grand piano and immense showmanship, his gigs always feel so much bigger than pure stand-up. This show is no exception, although the director has also given a sense of intimacy: first by including all Michin's mistakes and half-joking requests to do retakes which would normally end up on the cutting-room floor; secondly with the use of intense close-ups that you can only get with a performer who's rooted to a piano stool, rather than roaming freely across the stage. That way the viewer gets to see the impish smile or apologetic glances of embarrassment he gives at some of his own forced rhymes. 

Minchin’s knowing lyrics and fine musicianship make him a modern-day Noel Coward, and So Fucking Rock contains a number of his greatest hits - such as Canvas Bag, Inflatable You and Rock N Roll Nerd – plus a few less familiar songs such as such as  Some People  Have It Worse Than I, which delivers lashings of bad taste with a jaunty rhythm,  the terrorism-inspired So You’re Gonna Live In  Paradise? and the pragmatic yet  touching love song You Grew On Me.

Away from the songs, there's rather too much fat in the more than two-hour running time, as it seems every moment of the live gig has to be recorded for posterity: hence the inclusion of  aimless audience banter and his fretting about the whole DVD recording process.

But never mind the stand-up, the outstanding musical numbers will surely give this DVD, released exclusively through HMV, a shelf life beyond the comedy.
Sample joke:'You never seem to menstruate at all
So you're not angry when I'm late at all
I feel permanently felatable
Unpoppable, inflatable you.’
Extras: None
Recorded at: Bloomsbury Theatre, London
Main show running time: 126mins
Certificate: 15

Release date: November 10, 2008

RRP: £17.99

Published: 15 Dec 2008

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