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Daniel Rigby: Afterbirth

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Corry Shaw

Daniel Rigby has had some questions since he was reborn as a Christian at 19 years old. But now, having seen a different kind of light, he is exploring some of the Biblical stories he grew up with and explaining how he lost his faith.

With an Izzardesque stammering shotgun delivery which stutters from one story to the next, Rigby can be compelling to listen to. However he does not possess Izzard’s talent for the making the surreal accessible. He makes several references and callbacks to the Seven Dwarves that control his mind; an elaborate analogy that has varying degrees of success and grows tired and predictable fairly quickly.

Rigby has a thorough knowledge of the stories he presents as evidence that the Bible is nonsense, and he provides some fantastically unique insights into the tales of Noah, Moses and Lot. This is the most entertaining section of the show, so it is a shame that Rigby feels the need to steer away from it to play a game with the audience using some general, but more absurd, superstitions. Under-prepared and dull, it fizzles out with little impact or point.

We hear how Rigby was converted by the controversial Alpha Course, which provides good fodder for his caustic and accusatory comedy ranting. But we are only really treated to the superficial surface stories about the vicar wearing caps and giving out free meatballs. Much more interesting would have been to discover how the transition to and from Christianity affected him and those around him.

This could have been a cathartic tale or an in-depth expose on the tactics of the modern church but is ultimately a fairly lightweight look at the question of religion. Rigby even quotes from Dawkins and uses some of the scientist’s arguments to summarise his show.

Rigby is a good performer with clear potential and he has provided a feelgood hour – for the non-religious at least – but one can't help but feel that if he is risking eternal damnation he'd really ought to do it in more style and really push the boundaries harder.

Review date: 25 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw

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