Mitch Benn: Reduced Circumstances – Live

18 Mar


Komedia: Saturday, March 9, 2013

Physically, Mitch Benn might be a shadow of his former self, but professionally he’s as bold, forthright and frankly as right on as ever.

Best known for his topical musical interludes on Radio 4’s The Now Show, his Reduced Circumstances routine reflected on how he’d shed 10 stone after acknowledging the “addiction to food” that had blighted his life and had seen him balloon to 25 stone.

There were some typically witty ditties about how his obsession for grub wasn’t down to a traumatic childhood or his parents feeding him a dodgy diet, and a simultaneously heartfelt and tongue-in-cheek number for his young daughters who were the inspiration for his weightloss.

Benn was at his best, though, when musing on the reduced circumstances facing Western economies, comparing the financial crash to watching his daughter fall over when she was learning to walk – both, he said, tumbled after realising there wasn’t anything propping them up.

There was also a clever tirade against racial tolerance – if you have to tolerate it, you are a racist he thundered – but a similarly passionate defence of gay marriage was little more than a Guardian leader column set to music, with little in the way of a comic angle.

That said, it was a rare duff note from the man who is the sharpest – if not the biggest – musical comedian on the circuit.


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