An Evening With Rich Hall – Nuffield Theatre, Southampton – March 17, 2013
Rich Hall is a veteran of both the US and UK comedy circuits and, having married a British woman, he splits his time between London and his Montana. His position allows him the opportunity to view both countries and cultures with a level of detachment unavailable to most comedians. Unfortunately, in the first half of his show this doesn’t get to shine through as often as it could. Sure, he is his usual dry, acerbic self that we have come to expect from his numerous TV appearances, but material highlighting US presidential hopefuls called Newt and Mitt is weak, particularly for those well versed in the US political (and satirical) scene – anyone who watches the Daily Show will have heard much better on a nightly basis for the past year or so. However, in the second half Hall moves the show on to discuss small-town life in his second home (or should that be first home) in Montana, illuminating a side of America not so readily seen in this country while also milking the comedy for all it’s worth.
The highlights of the show, though, are clearly the songs. Over the years Hall has clearly built a strong repertoire and is able to pull an appropriate song from the catalogue to fit any audience member or circumstance, while a finale shows how well he can know and work an audience.
All in all, it makes for an enjoyable evening while never quite hitting the heights you feel Hall is capable of.
Rich Hall delivers his Tom Cruise bit. He’s pretty good at it to, until he has a crisis of confidence…