Reginald D Hunter: Bitchproof | Review by Paul Fleckney
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Reginald D Hunter: Bitchproof

Note: This review is from 2015

Review by Paul Fleckney

'It’s a preview,' says Reginald D Hunter midway through his hour after a routine in which he defends Gwyneth Paltrow falls flat. Bitchproof does indeed feel more like a preview than a fully processed show – currently it’s a stop-start series of disconnected bits, some of which need a bit more time in the oven. 

And that’s all well and good, a show takes time to put together – just don’t book the biggest room at the Pleasance and charge £9 at this performance last night, £17 tonight, to test it out. It takes advantage of your fans. 

As for the content – a mixed bag if ever there was one; and the fact that no attempt was made to stitch the components together and present a 'show' suggests Bitchproof is in its very early days. His languid style, which comes on like a warm, southern breeze, is at least always a pleasure to watch.

The meatier parts are when he speaks about his Professional Footballers' Association corporate gig which got him into the papers (and probably did his profile no harm), and his take on the Bill Cosby allegations, connecting them to Tiger Woods and his complex network of secrets that was busted open. They’re promising sections, so far …

His defence of Paltrow is a bit of a curveball, and his conclusions as to why she’s so unpopular might ruffle some feathers. One of the more compelling sections was a story from some years back when he got into a football game in Rhyl with some local boys – who it seems hadn’t seen many black people before.

A good five minutes is wasted on an anecdote about Reg driving a female friend from the West Coast to the East, which, despite the appearance of a Deep South policeman and his prejudices, is essentially about how smelly his friend’s shits are. It’s a cheap, distinctly un-Reg routine.

There’s a potentially interesting part on how he he’s lost one of his best friends who now hates him, triggered by some competitive pancake-making. Hunter seems genuinely confused and upset at this turn of events, though the routine doesn’t seem to be developed yet.

Reg starts Bitchproof by combating the suggestion from journalists that he’s lost his anger, and therefore his edge as a comedian, since his TV documentary about the Deep South (a train of thought that has a very funny pay-off). He finishes by semi-apologising for having 'said the wrong thing' in the recent past – presumably a reference to his well-documented Facebook spat with an audience member last year – and appears to blame it on his sadness at the state of America. Which somewhat undermines the apology.

All in all it was the oddest hour I’ve ever spent in Reg’s company – mainly because the grandiosity of the venue was completely at odds with the readiness of the show. The two should never have been brought together.

Review date: 8 Aug 2015
Reviewed by: Paul Fleckney
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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