Comedy Review: Hal Cruttenden

11 Oct

Komedia:  Sunday, October 9 2011

For a self-confessed camp, middle class, posh chap, Hal Cruttenden has a welcome amount of bile to offset his perma-grin.

He gleefully played on his “comfortable” life and, to the casual observer, looked like a cheery middle-aged dad who would be more concerned by the school run than appearing on Live at the Apollo.

One critic said Cruttenden would only hit the big time if Michael McIntyre popped his clogs. It’s a nice line, but there’s no mundane ‘man drawer’ malarky here.

Instead, Cruttenden combined wry observational humour with some cutting jibes and refreshingly honest confessions.

We got laugh-out-loud jokes – and I write this as someone born north of the Watford gap – about the north/south divide. “It’s very real”, he said. “We should build a wall to keep the north out. Well, they can build it, we’ll pay for it.”

There are also some great lines about his Northern Irish wife’s laid-back attitude to the recent London riots. Needless to say gangs of hooded, looting kids didn’t quite strike the same level of fear as paramilitaries in the Troubles.

He was at his best, however, when his affable nature was overtaken by overwhelming irritation and opinionated bluster.

Berating one teenager who didn’t think it was worth voting, he steam-rollered into a rant arguing that people like her should be sent to Iran or North Korea, while pro-democracy campaigners in those countries could come here.

There’s no danger of him being too ‘right-on’ though, he cheekily admitted he’d like to help the poor, “just as long as they don’t live next door or take my kids’ school places.”

Cruttenden’s fascinating patter of middle class worry and impassioned views was polished, seamless and packed with a high giggle to gag ratio. He’s highly recommended.

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